Real Sociedad are trying to finalise the signing of Nacho Monreal today, so he’ll be available for the Basque derby match against Athletic Bilbao on Friday, according to reports.
Marca report that Real Sociedad want to close the deal with Arsenal in time for Monreal to catch a flight at 19:55 today and sleep in San Sebastian. They then want him ready to train with the squad on Wednesday and Thursday to be ready for Friday’s derby.
Real have an agreement with Monreal over a contract lasting until 2021, with the option of another year. It’s just the final agreement with Arsenal that’s still pending.
Marca do highlight that it’s not going to be easy to convince Arsenal to sell early though. With the North London derby at the weekend, the Gunners may want to hold onto Monreal until the very last day of the transfer window, just in case.
Any fee paid for Monreal is expected to be fairly modest, with some outlets claiming there won’t be any fee at all. Mundo Deportivo write that rather than a transfer fee, Real Sociedad will pay for Monreal by allowing Arsenal ‘preferential option’ over the signing of a player in their squad.
The obvious candidate is 22-year-old winger Mikel Oyarzabal, who scored 14 and assisted four last season. With Nicolas Pepe on the other side, Oyarzabal could give Arsenal a very strong attacking trio in the future.
We should find out more about the exact nature of the Monreal transfer if and when it eventually goes through.