He recalled to the Daily Mail: "My representative came to Madrid, met Juan Onieva [the vice-president] and they didn't reach an agreement because the economic conditions that Madrid offered didn't convince us.
"We got on a flight and went straight to London, because there had been contact with Arsenal before. When we arrived we went straight to David Dein's house. It was David Dein, his daughter who spoke Spanish, Arsene Wenger, me, my representative, and a translator who we had brought with us because my English was non-existent.
"What really struck me was that I had always negotiated in an office with everyone very serious, wearing suits and ties.
"This was totally different. David Dein opens his home to you. His personality was spectacular, the treatment man to man was fantastic and I left there totally convinced.
"And Wenger, with that human warmth he has, that approachable character of his. During negotiations he didn't speak too much; he listens to you, watches you, he's seeing if you have the personality to be able to take on this challenge."