"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 that 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, 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."
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