Arsenal’s relaxed attitude to Santi Cazorla’s contract negotiations could come back to bite them in the near future.
The Spanish international has been in tremendous form this season, recovering from his injury problems last year to cement a place in the midfield, but his contract is due to expire at the end of the current campaign and as yet there have been no talks regarding a new deal.
What this means of course is that from January onwards, he would be free to talk to other clubs ahead of a free transfer from the Emirates next year.
Italian outlet CalcioMercatoWeb are reporting that Juventus have already been in contact with Cazorla, urging the 31-year-old not to sign any new deal with Arsenal before they can open formal talks with the player in January.
Juve, as per the report, are keen to sign Cazorla as pat of a reshaped midfield, one that also includes Zenit’s Axel Witsel assuming he finally joins the Serie A giants in the winter transfer window, as doubts grow about the long-term fitness of Bianconeri stalwart Claudio Marchisio.
Of course, central to this are Cazorla’s own feelings on the subject. Whether or not this particular report is completely accurate, it would stand to reason that the playmaker is exploring his options. Although he would ideally like to stay at the Emirates, and has said as much, if he feels that a new contract offer is not forthcoming or that the club are not taking negotiations seriously then he will begin to look at other avenues.
Arsenal, for their part, may look at the situation and see that although Cazorla is having a brilliant season currently, the plethora of midfielders at the club, with Jack Wilshere also set to come back from loan next summer, may make them more amenable to letting the former Malaga midfielder go.
To that end, it would not be a surprise to see him move at the end of the season, even if it would not be a popular decision.