Arsenal have triggered the one-year extension clause in Nacho Monreal’s current contract, which will see him remain at the club until 2020.
The 32-year-old has racked up over 220 appearances for the Gunners since his switch from Malaga back in 2013, helping the club to win three FA Cups and three Community Shields.
The veteran defender has only featured in 10 Premier League games this season, but with his contract due to expire at the end of the season, Arsenal have taken the necessary steps to keep hold of him.
According to ESPN, Unai Emery expressed his desire to retain Monreal’s services back in September and while negotiations over a new long-term deal have been stalled for the time being, he will at least now not be available to leave for nothing during the summer.
Interestingly, the Gunners have decided to sort out Monreal’s future ahead of a number of other star players, with the likes of Danny Welbeck, Petr Cech, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Aaron Ramsey all entering the final six months of their own contracts at Emirates Stadium.
Ramsey has already been told in no uncertain terms that he will leave the club on a free transfer when the 2018-19 campaign ends, but Arsenal are in danger of having three more household names follow suit.
Monreal’s continued service will surely come as a boost to club supporters though, given his loyalty and consistency over the last six years which has seen him emerge as one of the team’s most reliable players.
Even as he enters the twilight years of his career he is showing no signs of age, still capable of getting up and down the pitch at speed and making a difference both in defence and in the attack.
Arsenal officials will now surely get to work on securing the futures of a few other key players, with a bid to return to the Premier League’s top four on the line over the next few months.