Wenger ‘surprised’ Real Madrid agreed to sell Ozil to Arsenal

Arsene Wenger admits he was "surprised" that Real Madrid agreed to sell Mesut Ozil to Arsenal this summer

arsene wenger
Arsene Wenger's side finished fourth in the Premier League last term Photo: Back Page Images

Arsene Wenger admits he was “surprised” that Real Madrid agreed to sell Mesut Ozil to Arsenal.

The Germany international completed a £42.5m move to Emirates Stadium from the La Liga side on transfer deadline day and could make his Gunners debut at Sunderland on Saturday.

Wenger believes the 24-year-old’s switch to north London could have been in part down to Gareth Bale’s world-record move from Tottenham to Real Madrid – but revealed his surprise that Madrid were willing to part with one of their prized assets.

“Honestly I think it was linked with the Bale transfer,” Wenger said. “I don’t know exactly what happened inside the club in Madrid. Was it down to financial reasons? Was it down to the fact that when they bought Bale they had Isco and they had to let somebody go? I was surprised, yes.

“I fight for the teams to spend the money they had made and not the money they have artificially earned. Once they have made that money I am happy to spend it. As you know as well, what is very important for us is to find world-class players. There are not plenty around.

“We had to go through some years when I signed a long-term contract where we had some restricted financial potential. And the target was to stay in the Champions League in this period and we managed to do it. We are now in a strong position financially.”

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