Good day, all, and welcome back to the Short Fuse Santi Cazorla Bonanza. Luckily for all of us, it appears that we may be nearing the end of this saga, which will allow us all to move on to other things, like
Nuri Sahin the actual playing of games by Arsenal. And won't that be nice?
Anyway, there are what appear to be major developments in the Cazorla move, which point to its positive conclusion (for Arsenal, at least) in the very near future. Like, say the next couple of days, with any luck. So let's get to the actual business at hand.
First, the report that Cazorla was not present at Malaga's training session today. He trained yesterday, but it would appear that it was his last practice with the club (as Diario Sur says). At the same time, the rest of the Malaga team is beginning to talk, as the situation becomes more and more obvious. Striker Salomon Rondon said that Cazorla "would be a big loss for Malaga," but "if the situation is not fixed, it is normal that players would leave." Rondon himself has been linked with moves to Chelsea or Spurs, but said that while he knew it was a possibility, he would prefer to stay himself.
That same ESPN report also indicated that Malaga sporting director Antonio Fernandez and manager Manuel Pellegrini may be on the way out as well, with both being "invited" to leave according to AS. Whether that means they're being fired, laid off, or allowed to go to a club that's not in full collapse is uncertain, but it's clear that the club is in massive turmoil. A statement from Malaga (whose website has been down much of the day, but here's the link anyway) referred to internal restructuring to meet FFP requirements, but honestly that sounds more a smokescreen than anything.
Additionally there has been a lot of talk about the fee, and some are reporting it could be as low as the £12m range. This is not necessarily true, but certainly plausible considering the primary source, who I've found to know what he's talking about. If so, it is a massive coup for Arsenal's negotiation team, as while Malaga are certainly in crisis, this is a player worth perhaps twice that, maybe even more. I would wait to hear from more sources on the fee before touting it as gospel, but it's not to be dismissed out of hand.
Santi Cazorla is currently at London Colney and "Mikel A. very happy to see his very close mate from Spain at the training ground!"— D (@AFCAMDEN) August 2, 2012
Yes, it's Twitter. But he's been spot-on throughout this whole thing, even getting some information before journalists that I trust implicitly (and earning their backing at times, as well). It's certainly possible that he's wrong now, so take it with a grain of salt, but he's earned my trust to this point. It is certainly not to be ignored.
One way or the other, the drumbeat is intensifying, and it looks likely that Santi Cazorla could be officially signed soon, and possibly announced as soon as tomorrow. Tattoo watch: almost there.