Santi Cazorla will leave Arsenal next month after the club confirmed they will not be renewing his contract.
Spanish club Villarreal are apparently in “advanced negotiations” to bring Cazorla back to his former club for pre-season training.
“Santi is always one of my favourite players to watch. His natural ability with both feet, his speed of thought and movement were central to our best performances in recent years.
“He plays with a joy and freedom which is very rare. We wish him well for the future and thank him for his important contribution to our club,” said Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis.
The Spaniard made 180 appearances and scored 29 for the Gunners in six years at the club, having joined from Malaga in 2012.