Arsenal set for battle to keep midfield star

Arsenal could be set for a summer battle to keep Santi Cazorla at the club, with reports from The Express suggesting that Atletico Madrid are plotting an £18m bid.

The Spanish playmaker has been one of the Gunners’ top performers since his 2012 arrival from Malaga, and capped his recent good run of form with a key goal in the FA Cup Final win against Hull.

This has alerted Atletico, who are planning for the losses of big names in the coming months.

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Despite winning the La Liga title and reaching the Champions League Final, the Rojiblancos may find it difficult to keep star names such as Arda Turan, with big clubs circling.

If the Turkish ace leaves – Liverpool, Chelsea and Barcelona are keen – then Cazorla is seen as an ideal alternative.

The 29-year-old has been a big player under Arsene Wenger in recent times, but the temptation of a large offer may open the door for his exit with Mesut Ozil , Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey having all impressed in advanced midfield roles last season.