Athletic Bilbao are still reportedly keen on bringing Nacho Monreal to La Liga and could apparently do so as soon as January.
Recently, the left-back claimed to be happy at Arsenal but around the same time also praised Bilbao while refusing to close the door on a move there.
“I do not close the door to anyone,” he said.
“I’ve heard wonders of Athletic.”
However, in another he said:
“I am very happy. Malaga was very difficult to leave because people treated me great and I lived well. But when you get a call from a team like Arsenal you do not think. I played and it went well.
“The beginning was very hard, I had to acclimatise. It was another country, another city, another language, another culture, another style of football. You start from scratch. In that sense I am a player who has trouble conforming. It has always happened to me. I suffered a lot, but I have been settled and I am delighted.”
The 30-year-old has under three years left on his contract in north London so there’s no panic either way. However, he is a first team player. Although he’s not necessarily been up to his usual standard so far this season, he’s still solid and a useful squad member. In fact, since joining Arsenal in 2013, he’s made 143 appearances.
We only paid Malaga £10m for Monreal and it’s not hard to see us getting a profit on that if we were to sell him to Bilbao, as the reports claim we could in January. However, it’s not just a matter of money. He’s a first team player and I think Arsenal are really trying to stay away from selling the starting XI as much as possible.
We need to keep this group together.