Pablo Fornals has put the brakes on a deal to join Valencia, after supposedly hearing of interest from Arsenal.
The 21 year-old is enjoying his second season in the first-team having broken through the ranks last term, and has notched up six goals in his 29 league outings this term.
Fornals is claimed to be of a similar ilk to Arsenal key man Santi Cazorla, who left Malaga to join the Gunners back in 2012, coincidentally the same year that Fornals joined the club from lower-league side CD Callejon.
The attacking midfielder was supposedly close to joining near-rivals Valencia, but is now claimed to be holding out after Arsenal made their interest public.
Fornals is believed to be available for a modest £10 Million due to a release clause in his contract, although the terms of the clause are uncertain.
Cazorla has extended his contract by another year, but after consecutive seasons dominated by injuries, the Gunners have been forced to look or a long-term replacement sooner rather than later, with another injury possible in the coming campaign.
The 32 year-old is claimed to have been a huge blow to Arsenal’s last two campaigns, when they had expècted to do much better, but his absence cost them hugely.
His replacement may well have been found, and with only two years remaining on his current deal, and a supposed willingness to move to Arsenal makes this move seem all-the-more likely.
Can Fornals be the player we have needed to replace Cazorla in midfield? Could Santi mentor him during his first season with the club before taking over his role?