Wenger: Arsenal could only sign Ozil when Spurs sold Bale

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Arsene Wenger has conceded that Arsenal were only able to sign Mesut Ozil because Tottenham sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.

Bale completed his protracted world record £86 million move to Spain on deadline day - hours before Arsenal made a £42.5 million swoop for Ozil, who Madrid were reportedly desperate to sell in order to balance the books.

Prior to smashing their transfer record on the last day of the summer window Arsenal fans had been up in arms over the club's lack of spending, but Wenger said it was always his intention to spend big if he had the chance.

The Frenchman also admitted he was surprised that Ozil was on the market, and concluded that it must have been because of Bale's arrival at the Bernabeu.

Speaking at Ozil's first press conference as an Arsenal player, he said: "I fight for the teams to spend the money they have made and not artificially earned. Once we have made that money I am happy to spend it. It is also important for us to find world-class players.

"We had to go through some years where we had restricted financial potential. We are now in a stronger position financially.

"Honestly, I think [Mesut Ozil's signing] was linked with Gareth Bale's transfer. I don't know exactly what happened inside Madrid. Was it down to financial reasons? Maybe they had to let someone go, I was surprised."

Ozil is expected to make his debut for Arsenal against Sunderland this weekend. Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott will also feature having been passed fit, however Tomas Rosicky has been ruled out of the game.

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