Arsene Wenger has revealed that the deal to bring Mesut Ozil to Arsenal from Real Madrid was linked to Gareth Bale’s transfer.
The Arsenal boss, speaking to the club’s official website, confirmed the finer details of the operation to prise the German international away from the Santiago Bernabeu.
"The timing of the deal was linked to the Gareth Bale deal, but also all the other deals as well because Real Madrid bought [Asier] Illarramendi and Isco in the summer. “When I first contacted Real Madrid, things were quite open. They also needed time for Carlo Ancelotti to get to know his squad better, so he could make a decision. So all these aspects put together explains why it happened so late.
“We had a big advantage, and that was I had been in contact with Mesut before, when he first went to Real Madrid three years ago. I spoke to him back then on the phone and in the end he told me he wanted to go to Real Madrid, so I wished him well, but that first contact had been made.
“He knew that I wanted him for a long time, and this was not the first time I tried to sign him,” explained Wenger.