Santi Cazorla drops biggest hint yet over dream Arsenal return as Mikel Arteta talks revealed

Santi Cazorla during the match between RCD Espanyol and Real Oviedo
-Credit: (Image: DAX Images/NurPhoto)

Santi Cazorla has hinted at a potential return to the Emirates Stadium after hanging up his boots this summer. The former Arsenal midfielder is currently at Real Oviedo, who are pushing for a historic promotion to La Liga after 23 years.

The 38-year-old rejoined his childhood club last year and notably opted not to take a salary. After not featuring in the Spanish club's recent clash against Eibar in the play-off semi-final second leg, Cazorla's thoughts are on his future off the pitch.

Having shared the field with Mikel Arteta during his six-year spell at Arsenal, where he became a fan-favourite, Cazorla is open to reuniting with his former teammate and friend. The Spaniard seems keen on a return, revealing discussions about it with the Gunners boss.

"I have a very special affection for Arsenal," Cazorla told Sky Sports, as he reflected on a memorable stint in north London. "I spent six wonderful years there and I know how much all the people love me there.

"Of course, I was fortunate to share a dressing room with Mikel Arteta and now he is the manager. We had conversations about that but right now I am not focused on anything other than contributing to this club, Oviedo, and continuing to enjoy football as a player."

Cazorla added: "After that, we will see what the future holds for me. It is clear that Arsenal is a club that has always left the door open to me to return. But right now, I have enough on my mind with the play-offs and trying to enjoy the last days of my playing career."

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Earlier this season, when discussing the potential addition of Cazorla to his coaching team, Arteta expressed his openness to the idea in an interview with Sky Sports. The Arsenal boss said: "Depending on the role. You know my sympathy for Santi.

"We used to get on really, really well. I think he had an unbelievable energy that, as a coaching staff to have someone like that, that can trust with his knowledge, but his energy as well to the team. I think it's going to be valid."