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Arsenal boss Wenger: I tried to beat Real Madrid three years ago for Ozil

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits he first tried to sign Mesut Ozil before he moved to Real Madrid. Wenger smashed the club's transfer record to land the German in August.

"The timing of the deal was linked to the Gareth Bale deal, but also all the other deals as well because Real Madrid bought Illarramendi and Isco in the summer," he told

"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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