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One year after £8.3m arrival could Arsenal star be heading home?

Nacho Monreal is being linked with a move to his Basque homeland with Athletic Bilbao ... is it a move that could happen?

When it comes to international teams - not many are harder to break into than the Spanish squad. 

When you consider that the likes of Mikel Arteta have never played for their country despite their obvious quality you soon get a picture of just how competitive a squad it is.

So anyone who fancies a place in the Spanish national team must already be contemplating their decision to stay with their current clubs if they are not playing regular football - especially with a World Cup coming up.

One player you could put in that category is Arsenal left-back Nacho Monreal.

The player was signed as a replacement for Andre Santos in January this year and is generally highly rated by the manager and fans at the club.

But unfortunately he is now currently out of the team - as Kieran Gibbs’ good form leaves him watching from the side-lines.

With Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno making waves and Barcelona star Jordi Alba recovering from injury - it is only a matter of time before he sees himself slip out of contention.

He recently stated, that despite his lack of football, he was sure that playing at a higher level in the Premier League was making his chances of playing at the World Cup even greater.

Not according to reports this weekend.

There have been mooted reports of interest from Valencia but the strongest link now is with Athletic Bilbao - who would prove very difficult to turn down.

As Benat Exteberria showed this summer, when you are a Basque national, as the Pamplona born Monreal is, the lure of playing for The Lions is very strong.

Monreal is reportedly being eyed up by Bilbao for a January transfer - as the Basque club hope to use his Navarrese roots to convince him that a move to the ‘homeland’ is necessary.

For Monreal, the chance to play for Bilbao is just another factor potentially convincing him that a move is necessary.

Bilbao have money left over from the Javi Martinez player sale - and could afford the £8.3 million or so that Arsenal originally paid for him in January this year.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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