Arsenal playmaker Santi Cazorla opens up on once near Real Madrid deal

Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla was once said to be close to a move to Real Madrid.

Arsenal playmaker Santi Cazorla says it was flattering to be wanted by Real Madrid but insists his career has turned out well despite not joining Los Blancos, Spanish publication AS report.

The Spanish international made his mark at Real Oviedo before going on to join Villarreal and later Malaga, helping the latter duo to Champions League qualifications.

After intense speculation, Cazorla moved to the Premier League with the Gunners in the summer of 2012 but not after strong interest from Real Madrid.

The La Liga giants were close to finalising a deal for the 30-year-old, as per the report in AS, but for footballing reasons an agreement couldn’t be found.

Speaking on the matter to reporters, Cazorla recalls the pictures of him having conversations with Madrid idol Iker Casillas over a move and how he was flattered by the Santiago Bernabeu club’s intentions.

“Not anymore, but after that conversation [with Casillas] there were a lot of jokes and laughter, it remains a funny story,” Cazorla explained.

“It’s flattering how a club such as Real Madrid can want you, it’s one of the best in the world. Sometimes, though, not everything works out how you want and you just have to continue with your career.”

Since joining the Gunners, Cazorla has become an increasingly influential player and completed his 100th Premier League appearance during his side’s 1-0 win over Burnley at the weekend.

The former Villarreal favourite has started 27 league games this season, scoring seven goals and chipping in with a further eight assists.

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