Arsene Wenger reveals he lost Mesut Ozil to Real Madrid in the past
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he tried to sign in Mesut Ozil before Real Madrid signed him from Werder Bremen back in 2010. The Emirates boss further revealed that his personal call to Ozil on September 2 was crucial to convince the young German midfielder to join Arsenal.
Wenger made a last-minute move on Ozil on the transfer day deadline. Due to the essence of time, Wenger directly called Ozil and convinced the coveted midfielder to join Arsenal through a telephonic conversation.
In the end Arsenal acquired Ozil’s services for a £42.4 million transfer deal. Ozil, who claims he joined Arsenal because he wanted to play for a team that needed him, admits Wenger played a huge role in making the whole transfer saga turn into reality.
“When Mesut went to Real Madrid, we were already in touch,” Wenger said. “Back then I wanted to get him to Arsenal, so that was the start of our relationship. Now the second time it worked. I think the first contact really helped.
“I told you two or three days before the end of the window that I was optimistic (of a big signing). I looked a bit lonely when I said we were optimistic, but we worked hard and in the end it happened. It was very complicated. On Sunday, when we went into the Tottenham game, around 2pm, I was 90% confident we would do it.”
Arsenal smashed their transfer record by signing in Ozil. Wenger defended spending a treasure chest on Ozil following a summer full of disappointing campaigns. Wenger believes spending a large amount on Ozil was justified since unlike clubs owned by rich owners Arsenal was funded by its success.
“I fight for the teams to spend the money they have made, not the money they have artificially earned,” Wenger said. “Once they have made that money, they can spend it. Finding world class players is difficult because there are not many around.
“This (Ozil transfer) was linked with the Bale transfer. I don't know exactly what happened at Real Madrid. Was it down to financials reasons? Was it down to the fact they signed Bale, they had Isco, they had to let someone go, but I am surprise (this transfer happened), yes.
“Of course, this signing (is a statement). When I signed my last long contract, I knew we had to go through some years where we would be restricted with our financial potential. The target was to stay in the Champions League in that period. We did that and now we are in a stronger position financially.”