Mikel Arteta has admitted he would like to return to Spain, but insists he is happy at Everton for the time being.
Atletico Madrid, who came close to signing the midfielder before he joined Rangers in 2002, are known to be monitoring Arteta, with reports claiming that director Miguel Angel Gil Marin met the player after Saturday’s Merseyside derby.
Arteta, 24, has confirmed that he is tempted by the prospect of a return to his homeland.
“I would like to return to Spain,” he told Cadena SER. “It is something that will always be there, but I have to find the right moment and the ideal club.
“If somebody wants me, they will have to talk to Everton.
“I am very happy here, they have treated me very well.”
Arteta revealed that he almost joined Atletico before his move to Rangers in 2002.
“It’s true that I was on the verge of going, I have friends there like Fernando Torres with whom I have played for Spain’s youth teams and we have always got on well,” he continued.
“It’s a great club that seems to have a project for the future, that is performing better every year and it’s normal that they are already thinking about new players.”