According to Diario AS (a Spanish sports newspaper), Arsenal have made a €23 million (roughly £18m) offer for Santi Cazorla. The suggestion is that Malaga initially referred to the €45m release clause in his contract, but the fact remains that Arsenal’s offer would cover the money that they paid Villareal for the player this time last year and ease the pressure on the club.
Despite qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in its history, Malaga are having significant financial problems and really need to try and offload some of their higher earners in order to keep the club going. The truth is that whole situation is very complicated and it is difficult to know just how bad Malaga’s financial problems are. It is widely reported that the club have only recently sorted out paying the wages of Cazorla and Ruud van Nistelrooy, among others, and owe payments to other clubs for transfers and huge amounts of taxes.
Malaga’s tax payments are due on July 31st (Tuesday), prompting several newspapers to report that the deal to sell Cazorla to Arsenal will be completed tomorrow or on Tuesday morning. If the club can’t clear their debts by the end of the month they face relegation to the Liga Adelante and could face expulsion from the Champions League. Cazorla has apparently already agreed personal terms with Arsenal, so any deal should progress relatively quickly.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of Malaga’s pre-season tour of Venezuela, Manuel Peligrini was adamant that the offer was not high enough. However, given the financial situation at the club this is probably just a ruse to try and squeeze a bit more money out of Arsenal. How Malaga could afford to turn this offer down is beyond me. The only thing standing in the way of this deal would be if another club stepped in last-minute and made a bigger offer.
“As far as the construction of the squad goes there are always offers for various players.
“They say that there is an offer for Santi Cazorla; selling Cazorla for €20m would be giving him away. I don’t think the club is in a position nor has the intention to do so.
“It would undermine the intention to compete in the Champions League. If important offers arrive for players you always listen to them, but I don’t think that Santi is going to leave the club for 20m because that would be giving him away and it would send the wrong message out.”
Cazorla is a very interesting player to watch. He can play on both the left or right wing, in centre-midfield or in the hole just behind the main striker. The only issue I have it that he is quite small (5″6) and may find the physicalness of the Premier League a little daunting. However, I am sure that this won’t be too much of a problem for a player of his quality.