There are a few outlets today running articles on Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone being a fan of Santi Cazorla, and flush with many pieces of paper with the Queen's face on it thanks to Chelsea, the Argentine is shopping at the market and eyeing up the half-pint Spanish attacking midfielder:
Atletico Madrid believe they can persuade Arsenal to part with Santi Cazorla this summer.
The Spain international is a long-term target of Diego Simeone and the Argentine hopes this could be the year he lands the attacker.
And Atletico are hopeful that Wenger can be persuaded to part with Cazorla, despite the fact they have a negative zero chance of getting Cazorla so just look away and move on you pack of shin-kickers.
That...now that might not be the exact quote from the article, but it's close.
A more realistic, but highly-improbable, target that Atletico's zeroing in on is left back Nacho Monreal, who's found himself firmly behind Kieran Gibbs in Arsene Wenger's starting eleven. The Mail's going with the story that Monreal sought out Wenger last season to voice his displeasure at the lack of opportunities, which in all actuality I hope is true. I very much prefer all players wanting to play in matches versus not playing in matches, and being upset when their name's not called on a regular basis. But not all squad members can play at the same time, and having a trusted backup can be invaluable.
The Telegraph, in their Cazorla/Monreal article today, explain why they believe Cazorla is rumored to want out, and it plays right into the reasons why having players of their ilk - especially Nacho - on Arsenal's roster is important:
Despite signing a new contract in March, Cazorla may struggle to keep his starting place in the Arsenal team when all of the club’s players are fit.
This is Arsenal we're talking about, a team in four competitions with the annual headache that's the December/January fixture hell, who saw every player go out for some spell due to injury last season. Not all players will be fit at the same time and, even if they are, they're going to need rest on occasion. Having someone like Nacho, and to an extent Cazorla, to call upon to deputize is huge.
I really don't believe one, or both, will leave this summer simply from the standpoint that the club's going to end up replacing three players from last season, and adding two more to that will further shake up the chemistry of the squad. As with all rumored transfer stories, though, there's probably more to come.