Athletic Bilbao plot to use money from Herrera deal on Arsenal star - not Arteta

Nacho Monreal Arsenal 2

Athletic Bilbao are planning on using a part of received from Man United’s Herrera deal in a bid to sign Arsenal left-back Nacho Monreal.

Manchester United’s €36 million acquisition of Ander Herrera has allowed Athletic Bilbao to strengthen further areas of the team ahead of their debut Champions League campaign.

A midfield replacement for Man United's new star is a natural priority, but the Basque club are also said to be eyeing additions at fullback, on the wing and upfront.

According to the Spanish newspaper Diario Sport, the fullback which has been earmarked is Arsenal’s out-of-favour Spanish left-back Nacho Monreal.

The former Malaga star was born in Pamplona, and joined the academy of rival club Osasuna therefore fitting in with Athletic Bilbao’s unique regulations to represent the club.

The La Liga outfit have been keen on the star for some time, with current coach Ernesto Valverde a big fan of his ability to get forward and support attacks.

Athletic Bilbao were rumoured to be amongst the favourites to sign him when Malaga decided to sell off the Spanish international in 2013, but at the time they simply couldn’t compete with the wages Arsenal were preparing to offer.

Now, however, Monreal’s footballing situation has changed and the Arsenal star’s main priority will be to find regular first-team football who can offer him a European campaign.

Since joining the Gunners from Malaga 18 months ago, the 28-year-old has represented the club 47 times in all competitions, though he only managed 13 Premier League starts last season as fellow left-back Kieran Gibbs was the preferred choice.

Nacho Monreal still has three years remaining on his contract, though should Arsenal receive an offer in the region of what they paid for him - £8.3 million – then boss Arsene Wenger may feel inclined to sell.

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