Arsene Wenger is aware of speculation linking Santi Cazorla with Atletico Madrid, but insists the player will remain in his Arsenal plans.
The Spaniard has been at the Emirates Stadium since the summer of 2012, when the capital club paid a fee in the region of £15million to take him from cash-strapped Malaga. He has since gone on to make 130 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions, scoring 26 goals, and there is little doubt that during the current campaign he is playing the best football of his time in England.
Cazorla has scored seven goals and assisted in 10 more for Wenger’s side, as they chase a top four finish in the Premier League as well as glory in the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup. His form has led to speculation that La Liga champions Atletico are lining up a summer bid to lure him back to his homeland, but his current club appear confident enough in keeping hold of the midfielder.
“Santi has extended his contract last year and has two years to go,” Wenger, speaking ahead of the trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon, replied when asked about the Vicente Calderon interest in Cazorla. “You know our policy at the club. There is nothing to worry about. The suggestion is only a suggestion. We have never been approached by anybody about him.”
Meanwhile, the Gunners have tied two of their young players to long-term contracts. 23-year-old midfielder Francis Coquelin, who has made 10 appearances in the Premier League this season, and 19-year-old Chuba Akpom, who has yet to start a league game for the club but has appeared four times from the substitute bench, have signed new deals at the Emirates Stadium club.