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Santi Cazorla reveals Arsenal talks over Villareal duo Pau Torres and Samuel Chukwueze

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Santi Cazorla reveals he has held discussions with former club Arsenal over moves for Villareal duo Pau Torres and Samuel Chukwueze

  • Arsenal are interested in Villarreal duo Pau Torres and Samuel Chukwueze  
  • Santi Cazorla says former club Arsenal have spoken with him about the pair 
  • Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is planning a major squad overhaul this summer
  • Defender Torres has attracted interest from the likes of Man City and Barcelona 

Santi Cazorla has revealed discussions have taken place with former club Arsenal over his Villareal team-mates Pau Torres and Samuel Chukwueze, with Mikel Arteta preparing for a big summer in the transfer market. 

Torres, 23, and Chukwueze, 20, have attracted interest from a host of European clubs, and Arsenal have sought to get a jump on their rivals by talking with Cazorla, who spent six years with the Gunners. 

Arteta is keen on bolstering his squad for next season, with a centre half particularly high up on his shopping list. Spaniard Torres has been at the heart of Villareal’s defence this season, making 22 appearances in all competitions. 

Santi Cazorla has revealed talks with Arsenal over Pau Torres and Samuel Chukwueze

Santi Cazorla has revealed talks with Arsenal over Pau Torres and Samuel Chukwueze

Torres, 23, is a Man City and Barcelona target but Arsenal are hoping to jump their rivals

Torres, 23, is a Man City and Barcelona target but Arsenal are hoping to jump their rivals

Torres, 23, is a Man City and Barcelona target but Arsenal are hoping to jump their rivals

Meanwhile, Chukwueze has been identified as an option on the wing with the Nigerian star netting four goals and four assists in 26 appearances this season.

Cazorla, 35, said that north London chiefs feel the pair are ready-made for the Premier League. 

‘They ask me about them and think they can make the jump to the Premiership tomorrow. It’s good that great teams are interested in young players from Villarreal, but for the moment I tell them to leave them alone here.

‘They still have to take steps forward. They both have a great personality, and their feet are on the ground.

Nigeria international Chukwueze, 20, has also won admirers on the wing for Villarreal

Nigeria international Chukwueze, 20, has also won admirers on the wing for Villarreal

Nigeria international Chukwueze, 20, has also won admirers on the wing for Villarreal

‘In Pau’s case he hears constant talk of [Manchester] City or Barcelona, but he is aware that he has to keep growing as a player and that in the future we will see where he can go.’

Cazorla has also clarified his long term future, with the 35-year-old entering the twilight of his career. Since returning to Villarreal, the Spaniard has been in magnificent form, earning himself a recall to the Spanish national team.

‘I never plan anything long-term, let alone at 35 years of age. I will finish the season and see what my body tells me because every day I wake up the sensations are different.

‘I always said that I was returning here to play at my best level and when I see that I am not at 80% I will step aside and give way to younger players.’  



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Philippe Coutinho to Chelsea transfer boost, Man Utd target £81m Spain pair, Lionel Messi

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Eden Hazard injury

Zinedine Zidane is not sure if Eden Hazard will play for Real Madrid again this season.

The former Chelsea playmaker is facing another lay-off after fracturing an ankle in Real’s surprise defeat to Levante in LaLiga last weekend.

It was only the Belgian’s second appearance since November after recovering from another injury to the same ankle.

The loss of the 29-year-old, who is yet to make his mark since his £89million move from Stamford Bridge last summer, is a big blow to Zidane at the start of a crucial week.

Real host Manchester City on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie before facing arch-rivals Barcelona, who leapfrogged them to top spot in LaLiga last weekend, on Sunday.

“He loves playing football and while I can’t tell you what is in his eyes, I can see he is not happy,” Zidane said. “It’s important he stays positive but, of course, it’s difficult. It’s a bad moment, it won’t be easy and he will feel like that for a while.

“I do not know if he will have to go through an operation. It is not my area and I don’t know if his season is over, but I hope not.”

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Barcelona make Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang transfer decision amid Arsenal exit rumours

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“He’s already one of Arsenal’s highest earners, I think he’s the second highest after Mesut Ozil.

“But the issue is this is a team that’s rebuilding and they’re rebuilding to be competitive in a couple of years’ time.

“If keeping Aubameyang is going to mean a long-term contract that takes him up to 34 or 35 years old and ties you up with a ton of money, that might not be the right thing for Arsenal.

“So I think it’s going to depend on what sort of suitors are out there, who’s looking for a centre-forward?”

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Arsenal ready to pay £21m release clause amid Bukayo Saka talks but face Tottenham issue

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Arsenal are reportedly ready to trigger the release clause of Getafe full-back Marc Cucurella. The Gunners could be forced to sign a new left-sided player with Bukayo Saka refusing to commit to a new deal as of yet. That could still change though and Mikel Arteta is hopeful that the young prodigy will stay at the Emirates Stadium.

Nonetheless, plans are already being drawn up for the summer window when the club are expected to bring several new faces through the door.

According to Spanish outlet COPE, Arsenal are just one of a number of clubs willing to pay the £21million (€25m) release clause of Cucurella.

That could leave the decision in the hands of the 21-year-old, who is on loan from Barcelona but that Getafe will sign for £5m (€6m) by exercising an option in his loan deal.

Arsenal face firm competition though with Tottenham also amongst the clubs willing to prise the young Spaniard away from La Liga.

JUST IN: Man Utd handed Jadon Sancho transfer boost after Liverpool update emerges

Cucurella is a player that Arteta has followed closely since his first coaching job with Manchester City.

In 2017, the current Premier League champions were keen on bringing him to the Etihad Stadium, but a move failed to materialise.

Getafe have been the surprise package in this season’s La Liga and are currently just outside the top four in fifth place.

The Madrid-based side beat Ajax 2-0 in the first-leg of their Europa League Round of 32 clash on Thursday.

Cucurella has been one of their standout performers this season and Barcelona know even though they do not want to keep him they can turnover significant profit.

Arsenal are hoping to tie up Saka to a new deal amid interest from Liverpool, but the 18-year-old has already said he is leaving talks to his representatives.

Arteta is hopeful the situation will get resolved sooner rather than later: “That is something the club has to get sorted.

“My priority is that he continues to play like he is doing and he keeps developing. He is always asking the right questions.

“He is a very brave guy. Every time he gets into the final third, he is trying to cause problems for the opponent. He deserves these chances, he is doing very well and that’s why he is in the team.

“He’s great for the club. If we can get players from the academy and give them real chances even when we have other people fit, it shows we believe in them. He’s responded well.”

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