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Arsenal are expected to submit bids for two midfield targets this week as departing star Santi Cazorla closes on a return to his first club Villarreal.

Cazorla has spent the past 18 months battling a serious Achilles injury that appeared destined to force him to retire, but it seems the midfielder is set for one final hurrah with his former club.

Villarreal club ambassador Marcos Senna stood and smiled while reporter Mónica Marchante said on La Casa del Futbol: “It is all-but-official that, although it has not all been completely confirmed by the club, Santi Cazorla will spend pre-season next season – well, this July as we are already there – with Villarreal.”

Marchante later clarified the situation in a tweet, saying that “advanced negotiations” had taken place but that nothing was official.

Cazorla began his career with the Yellow Submarines and it seems he might end it there too, with Arsenal understandably reluctant to give a new contract to a man who has not played since October 2016.

Recent reports suggested that Cazorla could join Mikel Arteta on the Arsenal coaching staff but it seems that Cazorla may instead choose to reprise his career at Villarreal.

The Gunners have missed Cazorla’s guile in the centre of the park during his 18 months on the sidelines and it seems the club are targeting not one, but two midfield reinforcements this summer.

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