Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal looks to be nearing a north London exit this summer, as Arsene Wenger has decided not to extend the Spaniard’s contract and is looking to cash in, according to reports from Spain.
AS state that with the left-back’s contract set to expire in the summer of 2016, the Gunners have spent the past few months debating whether the defender should be handed a contract extension.
According to the Spanish newspaper, Wenger has allegedly come to the conclusion that Monreal is expendable to his current senior side, and will therefore accept a €10m (£7m) offer from Athletic Bilbao for the Spain international’s signature – despite his impressive performances last season.
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At the beginning of June, Monreal’s future was the subject of much debate in the English capital; however, the player himself spoke of his desire to see out the remaining year of his contract, and his eagerness to commit his future beyond his current deal:
“I have one more year on my contract and I would like to stay at Arsenal. I am very lucky to play for Arsenal, and am very happy to play for Arsenal,” he told Sport360.
“I would like to stay. If the boss [Arsene Wenger] wants me to stay, I will do as I am very happy.”
With AS stating that Monreal’s career with Arsenal could be coming to an end, attentions must turn to the replacement of a left-back who averaged an excellent 2.3 tackles, 3.1 interceptions and 4.5 clearances in the Premier League.
Kieran Gibbs may be who Wenger wishes will step up to regular senior football; however, the England international arguably hasn’t improved or reached the standard expected as many supporters may have hoped.
What’s more, the 25-year-old’s past six seasons have been blighted by injury [via Transfer Markt] – suggesting that if Monreal does leave this summer, Gibbs may at least require back-up.
Earlier this month, reports from The Guardian claimed that the Gunners were interested in Augsburg’s Abdul Rahman Baba, but the north London giants may face competition from Chelsea and Manchester City for the Ghanian.
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