Santi Cazorla has made clear his intent to remain an Arsenal player this coming season, despite having been linked with a return to Spain after joining the club from Malaga last summer. Atletico Madrid are believed to be interested in the creative midfielder.
However when questioned on his future, the 28-year-old said: “There has been a lot of speculation about a move to Atletico Madrid but I’m very happy at Arsenal, I have a contract there and I start training on Monday.
“Perhaps I will return to Spain one day, but right now it’s very unlikely.”
On the potential of joining up with David Villa who joined Atletico this summer from from Barcelona, he said: “”I’m very happy for Villa, because he had a difficult year with Barcelona due to his injury, but now he’s got another chance to shine again.
He further reiterated his point of staying with his current employers, when speaking about the World Cup next summer in Brazil: “I still have unfinished business in the World Cup after missing the last one because of my back. I really want to experience a World Cup, so I have to have a great year with Arsenal. I hope this year is even better than the last.”
The feeling is clearly mutual when it comes to his manager, Arsene Wenger. Wenger said in June about Cazorla: “”I think he is a bit of an under-rated player in the Premier League. When you think he was not in the team of the season picked by the players, it’s quite harsh. Personally I would have put him in there.
“When you look at his quality, that is of course outstanding, but also his attitude and work rate for the team. He is one of the players who has been absolutely outstanding this season.”
And Cazarola’s own words will be good news for Wenger as he looks to hold on to his best players while pursuing some big names. After missing out on Gonzalo Higuain, the Frenchman would add hugely to the clubs League and Champions League hopes if they were to secure the transfer of Liverpool forward Luis Suarez.
Wenger though has stated he won’t be rushing any deals, saying: “”We still have a strong squad but we are there on the market to try to strengthen our team. With or without additions we can be title challengers next season.
“There is nothing to say. I have been away now for two or the weeks and it’s hard to see how things are advanced because everyone is on tour at the moment and it’s very difficult to get in touch with people.
“What has changed recently is that in Europe some countries like France suddenly have bought some very talented players who two or three years ago would all have come to England. It makes the chase for talent very difficult.
“What we want is not a name but a good player. The name is less important. What is more important is the quality of the player. At the moment I must tell you we are not close to signing anybody.
“We try to do the job and we will try to do it well. But that is in front of us. We have worked a lot but nothing has been concluded with anybody.
“Of course we want to do as many top players as we can. But we also have to focus on the players we have and develop them.”