"After much consideration, I have taken the decision to leave Arsenal. I have spent five fantastic, trophy-filled seasons at the club, with many truly memorable moments, including winning the Premiership title in 2004 by remaining unbeaten for the entire campaign.
"So, it is with a sense of pride, achievement and the desire for a fresh challenge that I depart. Playing abroad is something that would really interest me but at the moment I am keeping all of my options open.
"I would like to thank: Arsene Wenger for everything he has done for me; the world-class players that I have been privileged to play alongside and accomplish so much; everyone behind the scenes, from the directors to the staff and lastly but by no means least, to the fans. You have been a constant source of warm-spirited support for which I am truly grateful.
"I'd like to thank everyone associated with the club for the wonderful memories and wish the team the best of luck in the future."