Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla wants to sign for Atletico Madrid in the summer transfer window, according to reports.
Spanish paper AS claims the club already know the player wants to move to the Vicente Calderon stadium, but he won’t come cheap with a price tag of around €20million.
Compatriot Juanfran has also been trying to persuade the Gunners’ playmaker to return to his homeland, revealing that he’s hoping the squad will be added to rather than depleted in July and August.
"I'm trying to convince everyone that no one should leave, and with many of the selection [Spanish national team] I'm trying to convince them to come to Atletico Madrid. Santi [Cazorla] is one of them,” he said, according to The Daily Express.
There are still some hurdles to overcome before Cazorla pulls on the red and white stripes in La Liga, with two-years left on his current contract with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Cazorla only joined the Gunners in the summer of 2012, with Arsene Wenger luring the 29-year-old to north London from Malaga. He had previously played for Villarreal (twice) and Recreativo in Spain.
He moved to Arsenal as a full international already, and the diminutive playmaker - who can also play on the wing - has won 63 caps to-date ahead of his nation’s World Cup opener against Netherlands tonight (Friday).
His first season was a success, and he featured in every Premier League game with Arsenal, scoring 12 goals in the process. An injury hampered his progress a little last term, and he only notched three times in the English top flight.
Despite that, the season was far from a failure for Cazorla, who remained a creative presence in the Gunners’ line-up. He also helped the club win some silverware in the shape of the FA Cup - the club’s first trophy in nine years.
With all that in mind, there is little doubt that his potential exit would be a significant blow for Wenger, with the attacking midfielder one of the first names on the team sheet at the Emirates Stadium when fit.
However, it’s easy to see the lure of Atletico, after their rise to prominence under Diego Simeone last season. They won the domestic title and came agonisingly close to Champions League glory.
That doesn’t mean that Arsenal will want to give him away though, and there could be some interesting meetings behind closed doors between player and club manager once the tournament in Brazil is over.