Football

Nacho Monreal ready to quit Arsenal if Fazio Ghoulam signs

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Nacho Monreal is ready to demand an exit from Arsenal this summer if they agree to sign Napoli's Fazio Ghoulam.

That is the latest claim from the Spanish media with Bilbao's leading local newspaper El Correo saying Monreal will not hang around for long if the competition at left-back increases.

Both AS and Marca have both reported that Athletic Bilbao are in talks to sign the Arsenal defender this week, but the English media have, as of yet, remained very much silent on the matter. It is easy to see why.

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Monreal started for Arsenal in their opening pre-season game against Singapore on Wednesday, suggesting that all is quite well between the 12-time Spain international and the club.

However, the local press in Bilbao are continuing to blaze this transfer trail and have claimed that Monreal will hand in a transfer request if Ghoulam does sign.

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Reports from earlier this week are saying that Arsenal have been working hard to sign the Algeria international and are willing to pay as much as £10m to get him.

Replacement

Ghoulam, 24, has been impressive for Napoli since joining from St Etienne in 2014 and has seemingly caught the attention of Arsene Wenger.

Monreal, 29, had his best season in an Arsenal shirt in the last campaign and even displaced Kieran Gibbs towards the end of the season. Monreal's current contract expires next summer, but the Gunners retain the right to extend the deal by a further 12 months.

However, Monreal would likely jump at the chance to finish his career in La Liga and Wenger's thinking is that this summer would be the perfect time to sell if he can get an upgrade in the form of Ghoulam.

Suspicion

However, as previously mentioned, the fact that Monreal is on tour with Arsenal, let alone starting their pre-season friendlies, is a clear sign that the Spaniard is in Wenger's plans for next season.

While Monreal may have good value in the transfer market, Wenger is a firm advocate of keeping a squad as intact as possible and has always been wary of making unnecessary changes.

For instance, Santi Cazorla and Monreal share a close relationship so selling the latter may upset to former. That could lead to a chain reaction that upsets to entire balance of the squad.

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Topics:
Athletic Bilbao
Transfer News
Nacho Monreal
Arsenal
Premier League
La Liga
Football

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