Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has praised fellow Spaniard Santi Cazorla amidst reports suggesting that the Gunners have agreed personal terms with the 27-year-old after Málaga CF accepted a transfer fee of £16 million, the Daily Mail understands.
Arteta said: “I cannot talk about the actual situation but I can say that I know him as a player really well. He’s a top, top player. He has got unbelievable quality and talent and that is all I can say.”
Cazorla has a €45 million release clause in his current contract, but Málaga are likely to sell him for less due to their well-documented financial woes.
The Spain international was linked with a move to north London last summer before joining Málaga for €19 million from Villarreal in July 2011.
Arsene Wenger has brought the likes of Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski to the Emirates Stadium this summer, but has revealed that he’s still looking for players in the summer transfer market.
“We bought Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski but we are not at the end of the transfers. We will still bring players in,” insisted Wenger.
Furthermore, the Gunners’ boss took a moment to praise Arsenal target Santi Cazorla, with a move to north London seemingly on the horizon for the Spaniard.
“I share the opinion of Mikel Arteta. Cazorla is a great player,” added the Frenchman.
Is Santi Cazorla the right man for Arsenal?
Gaston Ramirez set for EPL switch
The €25m-rated Uruguayan winger has been linked with the likes of Inter Milan, Liverpool, Tottenham and VfL Wolfsburg this summer, having tallied eight goals and four assists in 33 league matches last term.
“Inter like the player but we are very far off from what Bologna are asking for him – nearly €25million (£19.5m),” Betancur told calciomercato.com.
“I think it’s always been more likely that Gaston says goodbye to Italy. So much so that now I’m in London to talk with a Premier League club.
“The Wolfsburg interest? They were the first to move on Ramirez, but some of the figures are impossible for them too.
“I think Ramirez will leave. He is one of the best players and so there are many offers and, again, I think it’s unlikely he will remain in Italy.”
If you take Betancur’s comments at face value, Liverpool and Tottenham are surely the favourites to land the Uruguay international.
With that said, at the moment, I would say that Liverpool are the front-runners for Ramirez.
The Reds already have two Uruguayans, Luis Suárez and Sebastián Coates, on their books, and I fancy them to land their third by the end of the summer transfer window.
Will Gaston Ramirez be a Liverpool player when the Reds kick-off their 2012/13 Premier League campaign against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on 18 August 2012?