Wenger dismisses Cazorla talk

Reports have emerged recently linking current Spanish champions Atletico Madrid with a move for the 30-year-old this summer.

That would be a huge loss for Arsenal given the midfielder’s form, which earned him the PFA Fans’ Player of the Month award for December and January.

But Cazorla signed a new contract in March last year, and speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace Arsene Wenger said: “I think he has still two years to go. You know our policy at the club, so I don’t think there’s anything special to worry about there.

“The suggestion (of a transfer bid) is only a suggestion. We have never been??approached by anybody about him. I don’t think there’s anything to worry about.”

Wenger also described Cazorla – moved into a more conventional midfield role in recent months – as Arsenal’s “most consistent” player, adding: “Since he has moved centrally, his influence is bigger.”

The Spain international’s form in a deeper position has helped Arsenal cope with injuries to Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere this season.

Wilshere is now available after an ankle problem unrelated to his previous long-term injuries, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will not be considered for this weekend and Wenger described Ramsey as being “10 days away”.

Wenger said: “Jack is a bit ahead of schedule and has worked hard with no big problems, so it’s good to have him back. It is a straightforward injury – once it’s healed, there’s no problem.”

Wilshere might have to wait for a recall, though, as Wenger said: “No matter who plays, you always worry first about the??balance of the team.”

Arsenal will be up against a Palace side who have changed their manager since losing at the Emirates on the season’s opening day, and new man Alan Pardew has won five of his eight games in charge.

“They have found confidence again and have got positive results with their new management,” said Wenger, who added he was happy to see his former player Marouane Chamakh thriving in south London.

Another old Arsenal striker has been back at London Colney recently: the club’s record goalscorer, Thierry Henry has begun work on his coaching badges.

Wenger said: “Thierry??is making his first steps as a coach. It’s good for our youngsters to be coached by him. He’s been here once or twice.??All our former players are welcome to come back here and get their coaching badges. We’re happy to have him.”