Arsenal Plot Move for £18m Spanish International Wing Wizard Santi Cazorla

Rivals vie for Spaniard.

Arsenal are ready to go head-to-head with bitter rivals Tottenham for the signature of Malaga winger Santi Cazorla.

Spurs have made enquiries about the 27-year-old playmaker after learning that he was at war with the La Liga club over unpaid wages.

The Londoners view Cazorla as a potential replacement for Real Madrid-bound Luka Modric and are preparing an £18 million bid.

But Arsenal have emerged as contenders for Cazorla’s signature, with boss Arsene Wenger keen to replace Andrei Arshavin who is set to return to Zenit St Petersburg this month.

The Gunners are thought to be ready to match Spurs bid and use the lure of Champions League football to tempt him to the red half of north London.

Cazorla was a target for both clubs last summer when he was with Villareal but opted to stay in La Liga with Malaga.

The playmaker, who can play on either wing or through the middle, was part of the legendary Spain squads that claimed the 2010 World Cup and last month’s European Championship, although he did not make an appearance in Poland and Ukraine.

The pacy but diminutive winger feature in every one of Malaga’s La Liga matches last season, scoring 9 times. The club, managed by former Real boss Maniel Pellegrini, is set to play in Champions League next season which may tempt Cazorla to stay if he can settle his wage dispute with the club.

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