Speaking to Evening Standard, Nacho Monreal has revealed he is happy at Arsenal.
The Spaniard has been linked with a return to his native country. Barcelona are said to be looking at him, along with Liverpool’s Alberto Moreno and Atletico Madrid’s Filipe Luis, as a possible experienced backup option for Jordi Alba while Real Sociedad are also keeping an eye out for any developments.
However, the 32-year-old says he’s happy where he is, and intends to continue playing until he turns 40. Even though his performances this season haven’t been exactly top-class, in the absence of captain Laurent Koscielny he still mostly looked like the best defender Arsenal have at the moment. To be fair to the back four, they’ve been poorly protected by the insipid and rarely visible Granit Xhaka and haven’t been buoyed much by the antics of Petr Cech behind their backs; but there’s no hiding from the fact that Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Hector Bellerin simply haven’t been nearly good enough. Monreal has been the only one in that line who occasionally offers a decent output.
The left back’s current deal expires next summer, and he will be free to negotiate a move abroad from January 1, 2019, if a new agreement between club and player isn’t in place by then. This is where, apparently, Real Sociedad hope to make their presence felt.
But this latest story offers some hope of a new deal being devised, approved and stamped before it’s too late, with Monreal’s life apparently settled in North London. Also, he says his drive to continue playing football for as long as his body can stand it is mostly down to the ‘reinvigorating effect’ of manager Unai Emery, something that a number of players had already mentioned before.
It seems the club’s decision to part ways with Arsene Wenger did not come to soon.