Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that he blocked Demba Ba's loan switch to Arsenal because he felt that the signing of Mesut Özil makes them title challengers.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger sealed the signing of the Real Madrid star with 30 minutes of the transfer window remaining, smashing the Gunners transfer record by splashing out £42.4million on him.
The Gunners were also on the verge of signing Chelsea striker Ba on a season-long loan; so close, in fact, that the Daily Mail claim they had even got a medical set up for him.
Mourinho then pulled the plug on the move after hours of negotiations between Stamford Bridge and Emirates Stadium officials, claiming the arrival of Özil has made Arsenal altogether more dangerous opponents.
"We didn’t accept Arsenal’s offer for Demba Ba because the signing of Özil makes them title contenders," he is quoted as saying in the Mail.
Mourinho holds the 24-year-old in extremely high regard and knows all about him, as he managed him at Real Madrid since taking over in 2010 up until leaving to take over at Chelsea this summer.
Özil's departure from the Santiago Bernabeu was met with dismay by a number of players - including Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos - and it is little wonder if Mourinho's previous quotes about him are anything to go by.
The Portuguese once admitted he felt Özil had no equal in world football when it came to being a playmaker and even likened him to a pair of Real Madrid legends.
"Özil is unique. There is no copy of him – not even a bad one. He is the best number 10 in the world," Mourinho once said.
"He makes things very easy for me and for his team-mates with his football vision and the decisions he makes.
"Everyone loves him and sees a bit of Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane in him."