Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Rumours, Top Players Linked with Gunners Switch

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 12, 2016

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24:  Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea (L) tackles Nacho Monreal of Arsenal (R) during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on September 24, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Arsenal left-back Nacho Monreal has denied reports associating him with a return to La Liga amid speculation Athletic Bilbao want the defender. Elsewhere, the Gunners are reportedly monitoring Swedish prodigy Peter Gwargis.

Monreal hails from the Basque country and has been linked with a move to San Mames in the past, but he was quoted by Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb (h/t Daily Star's James Benson) this week, where he denied any exit talk.

The left-back refused to shut the door entirely but said: "I do not close the door to anyone and especially to Athletic because I have spoken beautifully about that club. Now, however, I’m not thinking about bidding farewell to Arsenal."

Monreal has snatched manager Arsene Wenger's starting left-back spot from Kieran Gibbs in the last two seasons, and Statman Dave highlighted the benefits of his high pressing so far in the 2016-17 campaign:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Most interceptions in opponents half this season: Monreal (9) Simpson (8) Romeu (7) Blind (6) #MUFC https://t.co/zb3drJkLYG

The Spaniard arrived at the Emirates Stadium from Malaga in 2013 and has now established himself as the left-back of choice for the Gunners, with two-and-a-half years still remaining on his current Arsenal contract.

Despite the progress he's made since moving to north London, however, Monreal still hasn't convinced across the board, and Squawka's Hush Kerai pointed to the 30-year-old as a potential weak link:

Hush Kerai @HushKerai

@nicwenglish Been going on about Monreal all season. Love the man, but think that's gonna have to be addressed in January

Monreal has played the full 90 minutes in all but two of Arsenal's 11 Premier League matches this season, entirely missing the 4-1 win over Sunderland in late October through injury.

His form has ensured Gibbs has remained firmly on the bench, but having already lined up for Malaga and Osasuna in Spain's top flight, there is a question as to whether Athletic may have any luck tempting him back to La Liga.

In any case, Wenger is unlikely to allow his defender to leave midway through the campaign unless an immediate replacement is found, which also seems improbable given the manager's dislike of the winter window.

Monreal, 30, has established himself as Arsenal's first-choice left-back.
Monreal, 30, has established himself as Arsenal's first-choice left-back.Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Monreal, who was born in Pamplona, has already made 143 appearances for Arsenal, per Transfermarkt, the most he's managed for any club in his career, and it seems that figure will only likely grow in 2017.

Meanwhile, the agent of Husqvarna FF midfielder Gwargis has commented on speculation linking his client with a move to the Emirates.

Speaking to Swedish website FotbollTransfers.com (h/t Mirror's James Whaling), representative Walid Faour said: "Both Arsenal and PSV have sent invitations, but now Feyenoord are the most interested. I'm in Holland right now for a visit to Feyenoord with Peter Gwargis. Peter has trained with both U17 and U19s. This is a left-footed offensive football player who many here believe will be a new Ozil."

The 16-year-old is already breaking into Husqvarna's first team in spite of his age, and although Arsenal already have Mesut Ozil under their roof, securing the services of a player tipped as his heir may be good business.