"We have been clear that we didn't want Cesc to leave and that remains the case," he said in a statement this morning. "However, we understand Cesc's desire to move to his home town club and have now accepted an offer from Barcelona. We thank Cesc for his contribution at Arsenal and wish him future success."
In a press conference at the Emirates, Wenger added that the club "will go on" despite the loss of a key player.
"We lost a world class player," he conceded. "We are sad about it but in the end, this club is 125 years old. Many big players left in the past and the club went on. We have the strength and unity to fight on as ever."