Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Nacho Monreal and Laurent KoscielnyNovember 18, 2016
Athletic Bilbao are reportedly ready to revive their interest in Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal ahead of a renewed winter bid for the left-back. Elsewhere, it's understood Laurent Koscielny is ready to sign a new Gunners contract.
Dipesh Agarwal of Sport Witness sourced a report from Spanish daily Marca, which said Athletic were ready to make another approach for Monreal after just missing out on his services during the summer.
Bilbao holds special significance to Monreal, considering he was born in Pamplona in the neighbouring province of Navarre, Spain, and he's quoted as saying: “For Athletic I only have words of thanks. For several years they have shown interest in me and I am delighted. I have only positive words for Athletic.”
However, Sport Witness also highlighted just how repetitive talk of a return to La Liga with the Basque outfit has become, with Monreal having already made it through several transfer windows citing similar speculation:
The 30-year-old endured a rocky start to life at the Emirates Stadium following his move from Malaga in 2013, but he now comfortably sits as manager Arsene Wenger's starting left-back ahead of Kieran Gibbs.
Bleacher Report's Lars Pollmann has even rated Monreal as one of the elite left-backs in European football:
Meanwhile, Koscielny is reportedly ready to sign a new contract in north London after French newspaper L'Equipe (h/t Daily Star's Marc Williams) wrote the centre-back is settled at Arsenal.
It's said the new deal will run until the summer of 2020, and OptaJean provided evidence to suggest the France international is still enjoying superlative form with the Emirates outfit:
Koscielny moved to Arsenal from Lorient in 2010 and has had the likes of Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista as partners in recent years, although his latest rapport has been struck with summer signing Shkodran Mustafi.
The defender's deal is scheduled to expire in a little more than 18 months, but Koscielny recently looked back on his time in the English top flight and what a success it's been:
There is an argument to be had that among all the attacking signings that have come and gone through Arsenal in recent years, Koscielny has been one of their most valuable acquisitions in terms of consistent impact.
If talk of a new deal until 2020 proves genuine, it means Koscielny could remain at the Emirates until he turns 34, at which point he may even be considering retirement as a Gunner.