Arsenal snapped up Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 for £42.5 million, but the move might not have been possible had Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy had his way.
The Gunners’ North London rivals sold Gareth Bale to the European giants for a then world record transfer fee of £85.3 million in the same summer, and one last condition Levy gave Madrid before the deal was sealed was they couldn’t sell any players to Arsenal.
However, the Gunners made their negotiations for Ozil a secret, and it remains unknown if the La Liga outfit agreed to Levy’s condition.
Former Arsenal transfer negotiator Dick Law told Goal in an exclusive interview that Madrid’s general manager Jose Angel Sanchez told him the club would consider selling Karim Benzema or Angel Di Maria in order to balance the books ahead of Bale’s arrival from Tottenham.
However, former Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti didn’t want neither of the two sold, but he was open to letting Ozil leave.
The German moved to Arsenal on transfer deadline day (September 2), while Bale left Spurs for Madrid a day earlier.
Levy certainly was keen to block the Gunners from buying players from the Santiago Bernabeu as he sort to deal a blow on his rivals’ chances of increasing the quality of their squad.
But the fact that Arsenal and Madrid completed the deal for Ozil almost at the same time the Welsh winger was leaving White Hart Lane would have made it impossible for the condition to come into the play had the Spaniards agreed to it.
The Emirates Stadium outfit haven’t signed a player from Madrid since the Germany international arrived, and one can only wonder if Levy had his way with that ‘condition’ six summers ago.