Santi Cazorla has expressed his delight after signing a new two-year-deal at Arsenal, as announced by the club on Friday (31 July 2015), while claiming that he never considered leaving the Emirates Stadium – despite reports in his homeland suggesting the opposite. Spanish radio station Cadena Cope claimed in February that the former Malaga and Villarreal star had "agreed personal terms to join" Atletico Madrid as he was eager to return to Spain.
The Arsenal playmaker had already been linked with a move to the Vicente Calderon last summer, with Madrid manager Diego Simeone said to be interested in securing his services during the current transfer window to take over following the expected departure of Arda Turan – who instead moved to Barcelona.
However, Cazorla already said at the end of last season that his intention was to remain at the Emirates Stadium. And last week the club closed down any speculation after announcing that the 30-year-old Spaniard – as well as Theo Walcott – had committed to the Gunners along with a new deal.
The Spanish international has now expressed his delight about the agreement during an interview with Cope, but also for winning the Community Shield after beating Chelsea 1-0 at Wembley on Sunday 2 August.
"I am double happy, because the title and the new deal. I have renewed my contract again two years further – until 2017 – and I am very happy in this team. There is no better way to start the new season than with a title against Chelsea," he said.
"[When I joined Arsenal in 2012] I didn't expect to be so long here because in football you do not know how long you are going to be in a team. You live only the present, but I am very happy here. Things have gone very well and hopefully I can help the team to win titles in the future. That why I came to Arsenal." But asked to confirm that Atletico Madrid eventually tempted him to move back to La Liga, he denied: "No. Nobody call me. I read many things in the press but no one told me or my agent anything. I was very calm during the summer because there was no option to leave Arsenal."
The Spaniard indeed claim he is enjoying his football more than ever since Arsene Wenger gave him a new midfield role last season, having previously played on the flanks. "With the Alexis Sanchez arrival the manager deployed me in the middle and I am very happy in the new role. I am more protagonist in the game and I feel a more responsibility. I haven't run that much since I was a kid, because sometimes I even have to hold the midfield, but I am very happy playing there and my teammates help me a lot," he said.
Cazorla has also claimed that after beating Chelsea in the Community Shield, the team are ready to fight for the Premier League title, but he is cautious about their chances. "We already finished the last campaign in a very good shape. The team have showed a very high level in the Community Shield and in the second part of last season and we have to keep it now to fight with Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool for the title," he said. "People are very excited to win this weekend at Chelsea, but the League is the most important and we have experience of losing matches you can't lose if you want to win the league. We must learn from it. The aim is to fight for the Premier League, but looking from Sunday to Sunday, not long-term."