Arsene Wenger says Arsenal could offer Santi Cazorla a new contract if the Spain international can prove he’s capable of handling the physicality of top-level football.
Earlier this week the midfielder, who has not played for Arsenal since October 2016, revealed he’s hoping to return to fitness before the end of the season. However, with his current contract at the Emirates due to end in the summer, it doesn’t leave him with much time to prove he’s worthy of an extension.
“The latest news is he had a new surgery and we’ll see where we go from there,” Wenger told press on Friday.
“I’m not informed well enough about his medical situation. I sent him a message two weeks ago wishing him well but he has not come back yet as he’d just had surgery.
“The medical people know better than I do whether he’ll play again in 2018 before the end of the season. On that front, before the end of the season will be hard for him.”
Asked whether he’d be prepared to offer Cazorla a new deal, Wenger, unsurprisingly, refused to rule out the possibility.
“That depends on his medical availability at the top level, we have to assess that before the end of the season. If Santi Cazorla is fit and capable to play, yes. If he’s not, then we’ll have to see.
“It’s a complicated situation. We love him. Secondly, he’s a great football player. The third situation, you need to be healthy today to play at the intensity level that is requested in the Premier League so we have to see if he can absorb that or not.”