Carlo Ancelotti has taken an unintended swipe at his own player Angel Di Maria, after admitting that Arsenal's club-record signing Mesut Ozil has more quality than the Real Madrid midfielder, reports Goal.com.
The German playmaker left the Santiago Bernabeu in a £42.5million deal in the summer, and the Italian tactician has tried to justify the sale, by suggesting it was in the best interests of the team as a collective.
Ozil has made a scintillating start to life at the Emirates Stadium, and has earned rave reviews following a series of impressive performances for Arsene Wenger's side this season.
The Gunners knew that Real Madrid needed to finance the £86million purchase of Gareth Bale, and after seeing enquiries for the likes of Di Maria and Karim Benzema swiftly knocked back, they were fortunate to successfully negotiate a transfer deadline day deal for Ozil.
"It was a technical decision [to sell Ozil]," explained Ancelotti in an interview with El Larguero. "I prefer Di Maria for the balance of the team.
"He has less quality than Ozil but, for his character and the way he helps the team, I wanted him.
"With the arrival of Bale I thought it was more important to have Di Maria than Ozil."
He added: "[Bale] wasn't cheap but that's the price of the market. It was the wish of the player that brought him here. Tottenham offered him more money."
Arsenal fans will take satisfaction from the fact that the sale of a star player from their north London rivals, Spurs, effectively handed Wenger the opportunity to secure Ozil's signature.