Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal will make a decision on Santi Cazorla’s future in January after confirming that there is an option to extend the Spaniard’s deal for a year.
The 31-year-old’s current contract ends in July meaning the midfielder will be free to negotiate a move abroad in the new year should the Gunners decide against keeping him.
“Six months left,” noted Wenger when asked on the terms of Cazorla’s existing contract. “We have an option.”
“We can take this option. I would like to speak about that with Santi Cazorla before I speak with the press. I haven’t spoken to him. The decision will be taken in January.”
This week it was confirmed that Cazorla will be sidelined for at least two months as a result of a planned operation on his plantaris tendon.
Despite the obvious concerns about the player’s long-term fitness, Wenger hinted that the quality and experience of the former-Malaga and Villarreal man will play a part in the decision, as it did when he decided to extend Tomas Rosicky’s deal two years ago.
“It’s true after [signing a new deal] that he [Rosicky] got injured but that is the risk when you take an option. But Santi is an exceptional football player and it is just for him to be capable to play.
“The dressing room needs a balance between experience and youth-team players and you need to be guided as well by some experienced players as well when you go through difficult times. They help you always to keep your feet on the ground and keep focused.”