Report: Arsenal's Nacho Monreal exit draws nearer; Athletic Bilbao move imminent

Athletic Bilbao are reportedly close to sealing a £6million deal for Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal.

Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal is set to sign a two-year deal with Spanish side Athletic Bilbao, according to talkSPORT. Reports suggest that the versatile Spaniard is set to make his return to La Liga this week, with a £6million bid from the Basque outfit in the offing. 

It has been revealed that Monreal will initially pen a two-year deal with Bilbao, with the option of a further year based on appearance-related objectives. Arsenal are currently in Singapore to contest the Barclays Asia Trophy but an agreement between the two clubs is set to be sealed in the coming days.

Considering Monreal made 28 league appearances for the Gunners last term - some of which came as a make-shift centre-back - reports suggesting a departure are somewhat surprising. The Spaniard has been a trusty servant to Arsene Wenger's side over several years, and having finally established himself as a regular starter, his desire to leave is slightly confusing.

Last month the 29-year-old insisted he wanted to sign a new contract to stay with Wenger’s side, as reported by the Daily Mirror. However, as of yet, no fresh terms have been agreed, meaning he will be available to leave on a free transfer next summer. Despite the fact Arsenal still consider him a key player, the club could be forced to cash in before losing him for nothing 12 months down the line.

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