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Santi Cazorla to spend pre-season with former club Villarreal

The 33-year-old is a free agent after leaving Arsenal but is still recuperating from injury.

Santi Cazorla will spend pre-season with former club Villarreal in a bid to regain full fitness following his Achilles operation, the LaLiga outfit have announced.

The 33-year-old former Spain international is a free agent after leaving Arsenal at the end of last season.

Cazorla came up through the youth ranks at Villarreal and made 241 first-team appearances for the club before moving to Malaga in 2011, and then onto the Gunners a year later.

A Villarreal statement read: “Santi Cazorla returns home.

“The Asturian player will take part in pre-season with the Villarreal first team (July 9) with the objective of recovering from an Achilles tendon operation in his right leg, which he had last November 28.”

Cazorla has not played since October 2016 after suffering an Achilles injury in a Champions League win over Ludogorets.

Arsenal took up their option to extend Cazorla’s contract last summer but he did not make a return in time to feature for the Gunners.

He joined his team-mates in training later in the season but it was still announced last month that he would be leaving the Emirates Stadium.

“I am very sad to be leaving after so many great times,” the midfielder said at the time.

“I have loved my time with the club. I will always remember the special moments we had together. The FA Cup in 2014 is something we will never forget. I am very proud to be part of this club’s history.”

It remains to be seen if Cazorla will prove his fitness and sign a deal with Villarreal.

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