Arsenal would seem to have sights set on Málaga winger Santi Cazorla, after the Spanish international reportedly told the Gunners he wanted to leave the La Liga club to join them, the Guardian reports.
The 27 year old winger transferred to the Andalusian club from relegated Villarreal, for a fee believed to be in the region of €20m, last summer. Since then, while Cazorla has been in good form, disagreements over unpaid wages have soured relationships between both parties. Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger has been tracking Cazorla for about a year now.
The Metro claims the Spanish club would be reluctant to let one of their better players leave but growing financial concerns could mean their hand will be forced. Cazorla has a release clause in his contract believed to be in the region of £35m but Wenger is hoping a bid of £15m will be enough.
Cazorla, along with former Real Madrid and Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, Venezuelan forward Salomón Rondón (linked to Spurs as an alternative if the Emmanuel Adebayor deal fails to go through)and Dutch defender Joris Mathijsen, claim non-payment of wages and have informed the Asociación de Futbolistas Españoles (AFE; the Spanish players' union) of intent to file a formal complaint against the club. AFE president José Luis Rubiales indicated that failing an amicable and in-house settlement he would call for a meeting between the AFE and La Liga officials (who will represent the club) on 25 July.
It gets worse for Málaga. Cazorla's former club Villarreal claims they owe them nearly £3m from the sale of Cazorla and Spanish tax authorities are demanding a further £5.45m from the Qatari-based club. It seems, therefore, the sale of Cazorla, rated as one of Europe's better attacking players, may be the only solution for Málaga.