Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he will not decide on whether Santi Cazorla’s contract will be extended until next month.
The Spanish playmaker has been a critical player for the Gunners over recent campaigns but is starting to feel his age and is currently injured.
— NinetyMinutesOnline (@90MinsOnline) December 4, 2016
Cazorla’s contract with the North London side expires next summer, with links in the press stating that the former Malaga man could return to his homeland.
The veteran faces competition for an Arsenal starting berth from the likes of Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Francis Coquelin at the Emirates Stadium.
However, Wenger has sang Cazorla’s praises and stated that the decision over whether the gifted technician stays with the Gunners for an extra year will be a consultative process.
“Santi has six months left and we have an option [of a one-year extension],” The London Evening Standard quote the French manager as saying.
“The decision on him will be taken in January. No, it does not depend on his fitness. It’s my decision only.
“Santi is an exceptional player and it’s just for him to be capable to play. The dressing room needs a balance between experienced and youth team players.
“You needed to be guided as well by some experienced players when you go through difficult times. They help you always keep your feet on the ground and keep focused.”
Cazorla is currently on the sidelines and is not expected to feature for Arsenal again this year, with the Gunners cursing to a 5-1 win over West Ham United on Saturday without the Spaniard.
The playmaker has dropped from an advanced position into a central midfield role in recent seasons.