Arsenal ace Nacho Monreal could eye a potential exit from the Emirates this summer, should the club fail to reward manager Arsene Wenger with a new contract. The Spain international has been a key performer for the Gunners ever since his arrival from Malaga in the winter of 2013.

Spanish publication MARCA suggests that the 31-year-old could be persuaded to return to La Liga this summer if Wenger ends his long-term association with the north London outfit.

The French head coach was key to recruiting the left-sided defender four years ago, and the Spaniard still holds his utmost respect for the manager, who made him a regular in the national side.

As a result, the experienced full-back is weighing up his options for the summer with Athletic Bilbao keen on lodging a fresh attempt to sign the Gunners favourite.

Bilbao, who maintain an unofficial rule on signing players only from the Basque Country, are understood to have approached the defender over the past few years, and they are prepared to give it another try during the coming transfer window.

Monreal has displaced the injury-plagued Kieran Gibbs for the left-back position in recent years, and he now appears to be producing the goods as part of a back three.

The signing of Sead Kolasinac (via Sky Sports) from Schalke looks all but done, but his arrival is unlikely to have an effect on the future of Monreal, who has excelled in the 3-4-2-1 formation.

Wenger is due to hold talks with the club’s hierarchy on Tuesday afternoon, and there is a sense that he will sign a new contract extension following the surprise but yet convincing victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup final – the 13th in the club’s history.

Monreal currently has two years left on his previous deal which he inked in January 2016.

Image – Getty

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