Pep Guardiola rejected the chance to sign Mesut Ozil from Werder Bremen in 2010, opting to grant a first team place to Thiago Alcantara instead, reports Sport.
The Spaniard was then manager of Barcelona and was faced with a big dilemma after Ozil impressed for Germany at the World Cup. Real Madrid were closing in on the playmaker, but Barcelona were ready to match their offer.
Pulled the plug
Barcelona seemed favourites to seal Ozil's signature, but Guardiola was worried that Thiago's route to the first team, and therefore his progression, would be halted. As a result, Guardiola allowed Ozil to sign for Real Madrid.
Ozil went on the be a major success at the Bernabeu, becoming one of the best playmakers in the world under the guidance of Jose Mourinho. Infamously, he was sold to Arsenal in 2013 to fund a move for Gareth Bale for £42.4 million. However, that move has been far from a success.
Having grown dissatisfied with life in north London, it is reported that Ozil is ready to force a move away from Arsenal in the January transfer window. Sensing a chance to right a wrong, Guardiola is preparing to launch a £30 million bid for the German.
Ozil has struggled to establish himself at Arsenal and has reportedly grown frustrated at not being allowed to play in his favoured central position. Wenger has opted to use him across the forward line, but rarely in the centre.
Ironically, Ozil's signature may well reduce Thiago's first team opportunities as the former Barcelona man moved to the Allianz Arena to reunite with Guardiola last summer. Thiago has been out for a long time with a knee injury, but returned to full training last week.
The question is whether Arsene Wenger would be willing to take a significant loss on his record signing only 18 months after signing him. Bayern are willing to pay £30 million for the 25-year-old, which would leave Arsenal £14 million short. It would, however, free up £130,000-a-week in wages to make new additions.
There would also be serious repercussions for selling Ozil after Wenger rejected the chance to sign Fabregas in the summer. Fabregas would have been the perfect replacement and, at £27 million, would have represented significant value for money.