Angel Di Maria is confident he can keep Gareth Bale out of the Real Madrid starting line-up after electing to fight for his place at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Arsenal made a £26.5 million move for Di Maria after becoming aware that los Blancos were open to a sale, only for the Argentine to reject a move after being assured there was a place for him by manager Carlo Ancelotti.
The winger also revealed that a chat with Paris Saint-Germain attacker and Celeste team-mate Ezequiel Lavezzi helped convinced him to stay, while he believes he has an advantage over Bale because the Welshman did not train during protracted negotiations over his world record £86 million transfer.
"I decided to stay, despite the players that were coming to the club," Di Maria told Rock and Pop radio.
"I knew that I was going through a good period and that I had the skills to play here. I talked to Pocho [Lavezzi] and he asked me: 'Do you really want to leave there?'
"Coach Carlo Ancelotti told me that whoever is better will play. I think that Bale wasn't training in Tottenham so I guess I have a head start."
The former Benfica star also discussed Gonzalo Higuain's decision to leave Madrid for Napoli and stated that the media's treatment of the prolific hitman played a role in his summer transfer.
"Higuain had to stand a lot of things," he added. "Many times the media would criticise him badly. That might have influenced his decision to leave Real Madrid."