Real Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay has been quoted as saying that his side are not in talks with Arsenal left-back Nacho Monreal, according to Mundo Deportivo, via Football.London.
As Monreal’s contract runs out at the end of the 2018/19, Sociedad had been linked with a move for the Spanish international, which would have also given new Gunners manager Unai Emery added funds to spend in the transfer market.
However, the report says that Leganes defender Sergio Rico is Sociedad’s first choice and that the money they have brought in from the sale of Monreal’s Spanish international team-mate Alvaro Odriozola to Real Madrid should allow them to go toe-to-toe with Bournemouth for his signature.
The report claims that means that Monreal is something of a backup target if Rico doesn’t arrive at Sociedad this summer – with no talks ongoing at this moment in time.
Long term, the feeling persists that Arsenal will need a quicker, taller, more powerful left-back if they are to construct a truly elite defence and Monreal’s expiring contract is also another argument for letting him leave now.
However, he is a very able defender and last season proved to be a stable presence despite Arsenal’s continued struggles and failure to qualify for the Champions League.
Losing that kind of experience is never ideal for a dressing room and although Emery will doubtless have one eye on who can replace Monreal next summer, he is sure to be pleased to be closer to having his countryman around as he embarks on his maiden season in English football.