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Spain winger Cazorla joins Arsenal from Malaga

updated 11:54 AM EDT, Tue August 7, 2012
Spain's Santi Cazorla has been capped 45 times.
Spain's Santi Cazorla has been capped 45 times.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Spanish footballer Santi Cazorla joins Arsenal for undisclosed sum
  • His former club Malaga is undergoing a process of "internal restructuring"
  • High-profile signing follows arrival of Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski
  • Arsenal must now wait to find out if captain Robin van Persie will stay

(CNN) -- Spain international Santi Cazorla has joined English Premier League club Arsenal from Malaga on a long-term deal.

The versatile midfielder has been signed for an undisclosed sum -- believed to be around $23.5 million -- with the length of his contract also unspecified by Arsenal.

The 27-year-old was a key player in the Malaga side, which finished fourth in La Liga last season to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in the club's history.

"Santi Cazorla is a great signing for us," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

"He is a player with good experience at both club and international level, who will add significant quality to our squad.

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"He is a versatile, attacking midfield player who can play comfortably on either side of the pitch or centrally. He has good pace, is technically gifted and will be a huge asset to Arsenal."

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Named Spanish Player of the Year in 2007, Cazorla joined Malaga in 2011 following two stints with Villarreal.

He has been capped 45 times by Spain, and was part of their winning squad at this year's European Championships and in 2008.

"I'm so excited to be joining one of the greatest teams in Europe and also in the Premier League," he said.

"I will do my best to help Arsenal challenge for trophies and make all the supporters happy."

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Malaga recently announced it was undergoing a process of "internal restructuring," with owner Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nassar Al-Thani -- a member of the Qatar royal family -- reportedly wanting to sell up after only two years.

Cazorla's arrival at Arsenal follows the club's summer signings of Germany forward Lukas Podolski and France international striker Olivier Giroud.

With the start of the Premier League season less than a fortnight away, the focus will now switch to whether Arsenal captain Robin van Persie will stay at the Emirates.

Last month the Dutch striker, who has a year left on his contract, revealed his intention not to sign a new deal with the London club.

So far Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus have made bids for the 28-year-old -- all of which have been rejected by Arsenal.

"I've thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract," said Van Persie.

"You guys, the fans, have of course the right to disagree with my view and decision and I will always respect your opinions."

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