Manager reveals talks with Ozil in 2010.
Arsene Wenger has revealed he spoke to Mesut Ozil about joining Arsenal before the playmaker signed for Real Madrid in summer 2010.
Ozil joined the Gunners in a club record £43.4m deal on August transfer deadline day but Wenger also said he had made contact with the Real earlier in the summer but the deal was not possible for a number of reasons.
Los Blancos allowed Ozil to leave after shelling out £78m on Tottenham’s Gareth Bale and Wenger confirmed the two deals were linked.
“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,” Wenger said.
“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.”
The Frenchman also said he tried to sign Ozil from Werder Bremen in 2010 but the player had his heart set on a move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
“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.”