Villarreal’s Santi Cazorla moved closer to a transfer to La Liga rivals Malaga, as the club’s respective hierarchies met last night.
Reports even broke that a deal had been agreed between the two clubs, predicted to be fighting for similar League position in the upcoming campaign, before it became clearer negotiations were still continuing.
Those were between Villarreal President Fernando Roig and Malaga sporting director Antonio Fernandez, with the Andalusians tabling a bid of €18m for the 26-year-old playmaker, and his Valencian owners significantly lowering their non-negotiable €30m asking price to a €25m valuation.
Bought by Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani in 2010, AS understands Malaga have already offered a contract to Villarreal’s No 8, doubling his wages of €1.6m to €3.1m. Cazorla has been integral to the Yellow Submarine’s recent success, becoming a defining aspect of a flexible midfield that built its play around short inter-passing through crowded opposition midfields and defences with regularity.
Able to also play out wide, Cazorla has been identified both by ds Fernandez and the player’s former Coach at El Madrigal, Manuel Pellegrini, as key to the Chilean’s newly-assembled squad in southern Spain, and is being touted for the No 10 role Wesley Sneijder has also been linked with.
Any deal for the player would see Malaga’s spending leap to over the €60m-mark already spent on eight names including Ruud van Nistelrooy, Joaquin and Jeremy Toulalan. Cazorla is currently in China with Villarreal, whilst Malaga are preparing to spend pre-season from Monday in the Netherlands.