Nacho Monreal has fuelled further speculation that Kieran Gibbs will leave the club this summer by stressing his eagerness to remain at Arsenal and ignore advances of a return to Spain in the near future.
The 31-year-old, who has two years left on his existing deal, was linked with a move to Athletic Bilbao. Serie A side AS Roma were also interested in the experienced fullback, who has lacked consistency but remained a regular in Arsene Wenger’s first-team side throughout the campaign.
As quoted by a recent report Monreal reiterated his happiness at the club whilst stating he feels important too.
“I am very happy at Arsenal and I feel important because Wenger has shown me confidence. I have two years left, an option for a third and the idea is to stay there,” Monreal revealed.
“I am aware that football can change, but I’m playing and the idea is to continue.”
Arsenal struggled for consistency during the 2016/17 campaign and earned a disappointing fifth-placed finish. For the first time in two decades, the Gunners will not compete in the UEFA Champions League next season. With that in mind though, Monreal has also shown optimism that they will improve in future.
“We had an irregular season, we did not meet the goal of being in the top four, but we made up the season with the victory in the FA Cup and we go [forward] with good feelings,” he added.
Monreal made 43 appearances across all competitions last season and Wenger’s faith in his ability, especially after changing the system to a 3-4-2-1, has given the Spaniard confidence.
“I have played most games, I have felt important and I have been well.”
With Sead Kolasinac’s arrival imminent, it’s likely that the pair could be battling it out for a regular starting berth at the back depending on Wenger’s chosen formation and availability within the squad.