Arsenal full-back Nacho Monreal is reportedly a transfer target for Basque club Athletic Bilbao ahead of this summer’s transfer window. The Spain international has been pursued by the Spanish outfit over the past few seasons.
Monreal, 31, joined the Gunners from Malaga in the winter of 2013 and has since made himself a regular in the defence ahead of the injury-plagued Kieran Gibbs.
The Spaniard still has two years left on his existing deal at the Emirates Stadium, but this has not diminished speculation over his future with long-time admirers Athletic Bilbao still keen on his signature, MARCA reports.
Bilbao hold a unique policy of signing players only from the Basque country, and they are keen on recruiting Monreal, who was born and raised in Pamplona.
As per MARCA, Monreal could be tempted to leave the Emirates this summer, should Arsene Wenger fail to earn a fresh contract at the north London club.
Wenger’s current contract is due to expire next month, and there is still uncertainty over whether he will be offered an extension following the recent FA Cup triumph.
Monreal has stayed committed to the Gunners despite Bilbao’s interest, and one of the key reasons has been his loyalty towards the long-standing manager.
With Sead Kolasinac due to arrive on a free transfer this summer, Monreal appears to have found a new position in the Gunners backline after having been deployed on the left side of a three-man central defence.
Monreal had struggled to provide a cutting edge from the left side of the defence for most of the campaign, but the recent shift has seen provide a couple of memorable performances including his brilliant right-footed volley in the 2-1 FA semi-final win over Manchester City.
The 31-year-old, who currently earns a £65,000-a-week wage, has appeared in 174 outings across all competitions for Arsenal to date.
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