Liverpool and Malaga were initially believed to be the front-runners in the race for his signature, but reports emanating from Spain this morning suggest otherwise. The impressive 26-year-old midfielder has spoken of his desire to stay at current club Villareal despite growing interest from other clubs. He recently told Spanish Sport daily Marca that there was no deal between his club and Malaga, whose new owners are from the oil-rich state of Qatar.
The highly coveted playmaker was quoted as saying: "There is no agreement between the clubs. I am fine here and I am a Villarreal player. There is nothing else to say."
Arsenal hope to convince the yellow submarines to part with Santi in the coming days, just in case a certain member of the old guard decides to join the ever growing departure list at the Emirates.