Arsene Wenger has revealed that his conversations with Mesut Ozil after the 2010 World Cup helped him secure his signature in the summer.
Ozil was brought to the Emirates on transfer deadline day in a club record £42.5m deal despite reported interest from both Manchester United and PSG.
The was made following calls from fans to spend big before the transfer window closed.
However, Wenger denies that the deal for Ozil was not inspired by pressure from fans and only happened so late because of Real Madrid's ongoing deal for Gareth Bale and the embedding of new manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Wenger told Arsenal's official website: "The timing of the [Ozil] deal was linked to the Gareth Bale deal, but also all the other deals as well because Real Madrid bought Asier Illarramendi and Isco in the summer.
"When I first contacted Real Madrid, things were quite open. They also needed time for Carlo Ancelotti to get to know his squad better, so he could make a decision.
"So all these aspects put together explains why it happened so late."
Manchester Evening News revealed late last week that Manchester United did mount a late bid in an attempt to hijack Arsenal's deal.
But Wenger believes he always had the upper hand in the Ozil deal, insisting that the German international was well aware of Arsenal's long-term interest.
He added: "We had a big advantage, and that was that I had been in contact with Mesut before, when he first went to Real Madrid three years ago.
"I spoke to him back then on the phone, in the end he told me he wanted to go to Real Madrid, so I wished him well, but that first contact had been made.
"He knew that I wanted him for a long time, and this was not the first time I tried to sign him."