Report: Arsene Wenger rejects Athletic Bilbao approach for Nacho Monreal

Reports in Spain have indicated that Arsene Wenger has rejected an approach made by Athletic Club for Nacho Monreal.

Monreal was linked with a transfer to Basque side Athletic earlier this week, with Sport Witness quoting Marca’s unveiling of the story.

The reported interest was to bring the 28-year-old to his homeland either in January, or over the summer, with the promise of a pay-rise and a long-term contract to see his future out with Athletic. A preference for a summer move was suggested, with the fee likely to be cheaper with less time remaining on his current Arsenal contract, but a new report published by El Confidencial has indicated that the Bilbao-based side have already made an offer for the Spanish international.

There has been no reference to a fee offered, but the story claims that Athletic approached the Gunners over a potential transfer for Monreal, before head coach Arsene Wenger rejected their advances outright.

The report outlines that Athletic president Josu Urrutia had made an offer far above Monreal’s valuation, so he is believed to have understood Wenger’s rejection as purely a sporting matter, rather than to force a larger offer from the club. This implies that the French coach still believes the full-back has a role to play for the Gunners, and he is well on his way this term to having his best ever season appearance-wise for the North London club.

Monreal’s contract expires in the summer of 2016, although Arsenal have the offer to trigger a one-year extension should they find further use for him.

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