Arsenal in pole position to sign 23-year-old Spain international

Gunners have consulted former footballer Santi Cazorla on two of his Villareal partners, centre-back Pau Torres and forward Samuel Chukwueze. Spain international spent six years at the Emirates and is now helping out his old club out in the transfer market.

Pau has previously been linked with a move to Man City. The left-footed centre-back earned his first cap for Spain in a friendly with Malta in November. The London club also sought Santi’s advice on promising Nigeria international, who is being chased by Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea.

When asked whether getting calls from English clubs about his teammates is a regular occurrence, Cazorla said: ‘Yes, friends from Arsenal especially. ‘They ask me about them and think they can make the jump to the Premiership tomorrow. In this campaign, Samuel already played 26 matches, scored four goals and provided four assists.

‘It’s good that great teams are interested in youngsters from Villarreal, but for the moment I tell them to leave them alone here. ‘They still have to take steps forward. They both have a great personality, and their feet are on the ground.

‘In Torres’ case he hears constant negotiations of Man City or Blaugrana, but he is aware that he has to hold growing as a footballer and that in the future we will see where he can go.’ Gunners are also on high alert over the availability of RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, he is yet to sign a new deal at the German club, meaning he could leave in the summer for nearly £50m.