Santi Cazorla has confirmed he regularly receives calls from people at Arsenal as his former side look to steal a march on transfer rivals Manchester City and Barcelona.
The Spaniard left the Emirates after injury hell almost cost him the ability to walk, with Cazorla requiring a skin graft from his arm to protect his troublesome ankle.
However, since re-joining Villarreal in 2018, the 35-year-old has been the heartbeat of El Submarino Amarillo and even earned a recall to the Spain squad.
Cazorla regularly lines up alongside centre-back Pau Torres and winger Samuel Chukwueze, two players who have courted the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs in the past 18 months.
Torres, 23, is now a fully fledged Spain international and Nigeria regular Chukwueze is reportedly wanted by Liverpool.
But Arsenal are pushing ahead with their interest in the pair and have been phoning Cazorla to get his view on the Villarreal stars.
However, despite his fond memories from north London, Cazorla has admitted to warning off even his former side from taking away two of the brightest prospects in Spain from Estadio de la Ceramica.
Speaking to Marca and asked if he gets many calls from England about Chukwueze or Pau, Cazorla said: “Yes, friends from Arsenal especially.
“They ask me about them and think they can make the jump to the Premiership tomorrow.
“It’s good that great teams are interested in young players 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 Pau’s [Torres] case he hears constant talk of [Manchester] City or Barcelona, but he is aware that he has to keep growing as a player and that in the future we will see where he can go.”
Liverpool allegedly failed with a January bid for 20-year-old Chukwueze, with any deal likely to reach the £50million (€60m) mark.