Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has suggested there is a chance Santi Cazorla could yet be offered a new contract to extend his stay at the club, with a decision to be made on the popular Spaniard's future after assessing his recovery progress at the end of the season.
Cazorla, who is currently working his way through rehab in Spain, hasn't played since October 2016 as a result of persistent injury problems. He'd also missed much of the 2015/16 season and has had as many as nine surgeries on his ravaged Achilles.
Wenger also reveals Santi Cazorla could be offered a new deal at Arsenal. His recovery will be assessed and it will then be determined whether he can still play at the highest level. Current deal expires at the end of the season.— James Olley (@JamesOlley) April 19, 2018
The 33-year-old, who is due to be out of contract in June, even came close to having his foot amputated at one point after contracting an infection and has had a skin graft from his tattooed arm to help heal the damage to his heel.
"The last news I heard is that he is doing well. I think he will come back before the end of the season and then we will check on him," Wenger is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror as he addressed the press on Thursday morning.
It would appear that if Cazorla can prove his fitness, Arsenal will back him. But whether that is possible or not will remain unknown for now, Wenger admitted.
"Will he play again in the Premier League? I don't know. I hope so but I don't know. We miss him a lot. He is an exceptional footballer. It is very sad what has happened for him and Arsenal."
Cazorla arrived at Arsenal for around £10m in the summer of 2012 and enjoyed three very strong seasons with the club before injury woes began to pile up. He played just shy of 150 games in those first three years and won back-to-back FA Cups in 2014 and 2015.