There have been whispers and rumors for a while about Arsene Wenger's interest in Malaga winger/creator Santi Cazorla, which haven't really had sources or any kind of legitimacy. Sid Lowe and David Hytner of the Guardian are now reporting that Arsenal and Cazorla have mutual interest, so at least we now have a legitimate start to the madness. This is all very real now.
Of course, interest between the player and the buying club is only two-thirds of the law. Malaga must be convinced, or not, and that's a big part of the proceedings. So it's far from done. But, the gears of transfer seem to be set in motion.
So to the fun part. Arsenal have opened negotiations with Malaga, and have evidently set €20m (or £15.6m, for the curious) as the ideal ending price. Cazorla's contract includes a €45m buy-out clause, and the Spanish club have indicated that they would be unwilling to sell for less. There are a few factors in Arsenal's economic favor though.
First of all, as mentioned, Cazorla evidently is very interested in joining Arsenal. In the abstract it appears that he really just wants to leave Malaga, because even though they're supposed to be flush with Qatari petroswag, they aren't actually paying their players (or the teams they were purchased from). Generally this is an issue for most employees, and Cazorla is displeased.
The second issue is related: Malaga's debts are genuinely threatening the team's ability to do business or exist properly. Last year for the first time, Malaga qualified for the Champions League (see the aforementioned petroswag), but that could be in danger. Lowe and Hytner:
Public debt is not unusual for Spanish clubs but Miguel Cardenal, the president of the Supreme Sports Council, the CSD, introduced a new zero-tolerance policy in April. Both the league and the AFE signed the agreement, according to which clubs with outstanding debts other than previously accrued debts for which payment plans have already been agreed, face automatic relegation.
That would not be ideal, to say the least. Anyway, certainly £15.6m is more than £0.0m, and that would undoubtedly help Malaga settle their debts and actually get to play in the right league next year.
So yeah, this is something that could legitimately happen. It might not, but it's no longer just the vapors and fog of Twitter rumor. So fun times appear nigh.