Atletico Madrid have tabled a £17.5m bid for Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla, with some reports from Spain suggesting that the playmaker is close to agreeing personal terms with the side.
Cazorla is absent from Arsenal’s pre-season tour of the Far East after a long Premier League season followed by the Confederations Cup. What was considered to be merely a period of respite for the Gunners’ number 19 is now being construed by many as an opportunity for the ex-Malaga man to sort out a deal with Atletico.
It would be a devastating blow for the Gunners, who are 11/1 to win the league, and represent the third season in a row where they have lost arguably their best player after Cesc Fabregas’ and Robin Van Persie’s defections.
Cazorla, who signed last season for £12.5m, was pivotal in Arsenal’s quest to secure Champions League football last year – a feat they are 4/6 to repeat this time – playing every game, scoring 12 goals and providing 16 assists. The 28-year-old went on to bag fans player of the year and has established himself as a key player in Arsene Wenger’s side.
Following the transfer of Radamel Falcao to Monaco for £51m, Atletico are flush for cash and believe that the signing of close friend David Villa will help sway Cazorla.
However, Cazorla has friends in London too Mikel Arteta and former team mate Nacho Monreal both current members of this Arsenal side, and it seems very unlikely that Wenger would sell anyway.
The north London club do not need the money, with a reported £70m in the transfer kitty, and the sale of another top player after the promise of world-class additions would create unprecedented disapproval amongst the Emirates ranks.
Arsenal have already had a bid for Liverpool’s Luis Suarez turned down and the Uruguayan is 3/1 to join the Gunners while Gonzalo Higuain remains a target.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.