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Villarreal's Santi Cazorla set to join Xavi's Al Sadd

Santi Cazorla

Bengaluru, July 11: Qatar Stars League (QSL) champions Al Sadd, who are coached by Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez, are reportedly close to signing Spaniard Santi Cazorla from La Liga outfit Villarreal.

The 35-year-old former Arsenal star, who is currently a free agent, has scored 10 goals and had nine assists for Villarreal, who have impressed in La Liga this season.

Spanish daily Marca quoted Al Sadd media officer Ahmed Al Ansari in an Instagram live chat saying that the club is at an advanced stage of negotiations with the playmaker.

Cazorla plied his trade in Spain for almost seven seasons across two spells at the Yellow Submarine whilst also representing Recreativo de Huelva and Malaga.

It is presumed that Spaniard Xavi is keen on having his compatriot at the Doha-based club.

In a recent show with Spain's Cadena Ser's El Larguero, Cazorla hinted at a possible switch to QSL from La Liga.

"I've already made a decision about my future but right now isn't the time to talk about it, my future depends on me.

"Could I play for another club after Villarreal? There're many possibilities for what I'll do.

"I know what I would like and this break has given me time to think and to listen to my body to know when I should be aware of stopping.

"I'll make my decision and confirm an announcement but now my focus is on the league and our remaining 11 matches."

After the Arsenal stint, it was only in 2018 that Cazorla returned to Villarreal, the club where he took his first professional steps with.

Many wrote him off, with his chances of truly overcoming the horrendous ankle injury he had been sidelined for almost two years at Arsenal with looking slim.

But over the last season and a half, the Spaniard has turned that narrative on his head, propelling his beloved Villarreal to the verge of a European spot and even earning a call-up to the Spanish national team.

If Cazorla leaves Villarreal it will be a big blow for the club as evident from coach Javi Calleja's words.

"I consider him one of the best players in La Liga, one of the best people I know and a friend. He's spoken to me about the decision he's made and he'll be the one who tells you about it."

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Story first published: Saturday, July 11, 2020, 9:08 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 11, 2020
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