José Mourinho has told Arsenal he will not stand in the way of their attempt to sign the midfielder Nuri Sahin. The London club want Sahin from Real Madrid on a season-long loan, with an option to make the deal permanent, and they are confident he will become their second acquisition of the summer from La Liga. The Málaga midfielder Santi Cazorla has agreed personal terms on his £16m transfer to Arsenal and passed a medical, although the clubs have not yet announced the transfer.
Sahin, the 23-year-old Turkey international, moved to Madrid from Borussia Dortmund only last summer and he is disappointed that Mourinho considers him to be a disposable asset. Sahin barely featured in La Liga last season and played at left-back in the second half of Madrid’s 5-1 friendly win over Los Angeles Galaxy on Thursday, which felt like an ominous sign for his future at the club. He would hope for greater opportunities at Arsenal, where Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky are injured.
“The point is that he [Sahin] is a young boy, he wants to play every match,” said Mourinho, the Madrid manager. “And in Real Madrid with Xabi Alonso, with [Sami] Khedira, with Lassana [Diarra], [Esteban] Granero, [Mesut] Ozil … the situation is not easy. Real Madrid is very difficult. We have great players and, when you don’t start well, it is difficult to do it.
“If he stays, he’s not a problem for me, he’s one more solution. We leave [the situation] in his hands. Decide what you want to decide, to be happy. If you decide to leave, we are going to help you to leave. If you decide to stay, we are going to support you and try to succeed this season.”
Cazorla flew to London on Thursday to undergo his Arsenal medical and he also met some of his future team-mates at Arsenal’s training ground, where there is excitement about his imminent arrival but the announcement of the deal has been delayed because of the complexities of Málaga’s situation, where the Qatari owner is attempting to sell the club.
Arsenal want Cazorla to come to their training camp in Germany next week and make his debut in the friendly against Köln next Sunday. Arsenal also hope Sahin will be able to link up with them in Germany.
By David Hytner