BERLIN (AFP) - New Arsenal signing Mesut Ozil admits that he had no intention of leaving Real Madrid until realising that he risked being left on the sidelines in the Spanish capital.
Ozil saw Gareth Bale complete his transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to the Santiago Bernabeu earlier on Monday before agreeing to move to the Emirates Stadium for a reported £42.4 million (S$84 million).
And the Germany playmaker later said in an interview with the German Football Association's official website, www.dfb.de, that he agreed to the move after it became clear that he no longer figured in the plans of Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.
"At that moment (a few days ago), I was certain that I would stay at Real Madrid, but afterwards I realised that the coach and the board no longer had confidence in me," he said.
"I am a player who needs that confidence and the possibility came up to go to Arsenal, which is why I chose to go there."
Now he is looking forward to linking up with international colleagues such as Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski in north London, as well as working for Arsenal's German-speaking manager Arsene Wenger.
"Arsene Wenger showed confidence in me and now I will be able to continue progressing as a player. I want to be on top form for the World Cup," the former Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen player, 24, said.
"I spoke to him for a long time on the telephone and he explained to me how he thinks football should be played.
"Naturally, I am delighted to now be able to play with Podolski and Mertesacker. I am really satisfied with this new challenge, I know already that they have brilliant supporters, that the stadium is super and that there is class in the team."
Ozil is currently with the Germany squad preparing for the World Cup qualifying double-header against Austria on Friday in Munich and the Faroe Islands away next Tuesday.
His Arsenal debut could come in their next Premier League fixture, at Sunderland on Saturday, September 14.