Football.London journalist James Benge has rubbished the prospect of Nacho Monreal leaving Arsenal on a free transfer this summer.
It has been claimed that Monreal could leave the club this summer, with many outlets, including The Sun, claiming that he is available for nothing when the transfer window reopens.
The 33-year-old has made 31 appearances for the club in all competitions this season.
But Benge claims that Arsenal have already activated a clause within the player’s contract extending his stay at the Emirates, making his new deal end in the summer of 2020.
It does not appear as though the club formally announced the extension, however, perhaps leading to the confusion.
Barcelona had been touted as a possible destination for the veteran full-back but it now appears as though he will be staying at the club this summer unless an interested party is willing to pay a transfer fee.
This is not good news for Arsenal fans.
Monreal’s legs have well and truly gone and it is a damning indictment on the club’s transfer policy that he is still being relied upon.
Sead Kolasinac, though, has not stepped up as many expected he would and it has been left to the Spaniard to occupy the left back position on many occasions, as well as filling in at left centre back.
At the age of 33, regardless of his contract status, Arsenal should be looking to shop Monreal around and attract bids for him.
In fact, letting him leave on a free transfer this summer would not be the worst thing in the world and would allow Unai Emery to recruit a young, dynamic full-back in his stead.
As it is, however, the position is stale and a clear Achilles heel that rivals have been able to exploit. And it looks as though it will stay that way until 2020.