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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has dismissed reports of his club's move for Spain and Malaga winger Santi Cazorla, reports ESPN Soccernet. Wenger's statement comes in just a day after the Guardian announced that the North London based side has agreed terms with the player and a transfer fee of about â‚¬20 million (Â£15.6m) would be paid to Malaga.
27 year-old Cazorla started his career with the youth side of Spanish club Villarreal. Despite a slow start at the club, the winger established his place in Villarreal's first team, benefiting from a season away at Recreativo which encourage the Yellow Submarine to re-sign the player taking advantage of a buy-back clause in his contract. Cazorla broke into the Spanish national side in 2008 and has been a fringe member of the 2008 and 2012 Euro winning side, but missed out on the 2010 FIFA World Cup win in 2010.
The Spaniard joined newly-rich Malaga for a fee of â‚¬19 million just last season and helped the team qualify for the European Champions League for the first time in their history. The player is known for his versatility and can play equally well on both wings, making him a valuable addition to any squad.
Malaga are now going through a financial crisis and although there is a hefty â‚¬45 million release clause in Cazorla's contract, the club could be forced to sell for a significantly lower amount. Arsenal were assumed to be his next destination despite rumours of AVB eyeing the midfielder as a replacement for Luka Modric, should the Croat leave to Real Madrid this summer. However, with Andrey Arshavin and Robin van Persie very likely to depart from the Emirates this summer, Arsenal could still be tracking the player despite conflicting reports.
After Arsenal's last gasp 2-1 victory over a select Malaysian XI, the French boss quashed the Arsenal link to Cazorla saying, "No [we are not close]. Maybe we will sign a Malaysian player!"
Cazorla was expected to leave after Malaga's financial woes have cost the player his wages last season. However, Arsenal's cooling interest in the winger could spell trouble for the Spain international who would have to labour on at the Spanish side next season if Arsenal do not meet terms with Malaga soon.
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