Transfer talk: Santi Cazorla denies Arsenal exit

 

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has quashed speculation that he is heading for the exit door at the Emirates stadium.

The Spain international has been linked with a return to his home country, with Atletico Madrid believed to be prepared to launch a bid for him.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone has not denied that his side were interested in Cazorla, who joined the Gunners last summer from Malaga for £15million, commenting last week that "anything is possible" when asked about the midfielder.

However, the 28-year-old, who is enjoying the final days of his extended summer holiday before joining up with his club for pre-season training, has reaffirmed his commitment to Arsene Wenger's side.

He told reporters: "There has been a lot of speculation about a move to Atletico Madrid but I'm very happy at Arsenal, I have a contract there and I start training on Monday.

"Perhaps I will return to Spain one day, but right now it's very unlikely," he added.

Atletico's most significant signings this summer have been Leo Baptistao, who joined for around 7m euros (£6m) from Rayo Vallecano, and David Villa, who arrived from Barcelona for an initial 2.1m euros (£1.8m).

Although Cazorla stressed he was not about to link up with his Spain team-mate Villa at the Calderon, he said he was pleased for him.

"I'm very happy for Villa, because he had a difficult year with Barcelona due to his injury [a broken leg he suffered in December 2011], but now he's got another chance to shine again," he said.

And he declared to work extra hard this year for Arsenal so he can be guaranteed a place in Spain's squad for next year's World Cup in Brazil, after missing his country's triumph in South Africa due to a back injury.

He said: "I still have unfinished business in the World Cup after missing the last one because of my back. I really want to experience a World Cup, so I have to have a great year with Arsenal. I hope this year is even better than the last."

PA

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