Mesut Özil almost ended up at Paris Saint-Germain before he eventually signed with Arsenal in 2013, according to his former manager Arsene Wenger.
Wenger was speaking to the Arsenal YouTube channel, telling a number of previously untold stories about his time with the club.
One particularly surprising revelation was that the signing of star player Mesut Ozil almost ended up not happening, with PSG making a last-minute move for the midfielder. Thankfully, Wenger put a stop to it.
“I remember just before I left for the stadium [after completing the deal], I had a call from the President of PSG, asking me ‘Have you done the deal or not? Because we want to do it’ and I said ‘Please, don’t touch, it’s finished’.” Wenger explained.
Thankfully, the club listened to the Arsenal boss, and didn’t take their bid any further. It shows the respect PSG and Wenger have for each other as well, that they’d even bother to make a call to him before contacting Real Madrid or the player directly.
As well as that, it shows how precarious any major deal can be. You can have it all wrapped up for the player to join you, just a day or so before the transfer deadline, then a mega-money club can swoop in and steal it away from you. If PSG had hijacked the Özil deal, Arsenal would’ve struggled to find someone else before the window closed.
Instead, we’re looking forward to the German’s sixth season, and hoping to add to his three major trophies since joining the club.