Arteta & Monreal targeted by Athletic Bilbao

The Basque outfit have been alerted to the possibility that both men could be made available by Arsenal this summer, though Arteta has repeatedly insisted he is happy in London
By Gorka Posada

Athletic Bilbao are weighing up moves for Arsenal duo Mikel Arteta and Nacho Monreal, Goal has learned.

The Basque club have been alerted to the possibility that both men could be surplus to requirements at the Emirates Stadium this summer, though coach Ernesto Valverde will have the final say regarding any concrete approach.

Arteta in particular appeals to the Primera Division outfit following the sale of Ander Herrera to Manchester United, with the club's existing midfield options - including Inigo Ruiz de Galarreta and Ager Aketxe - lacking top-level experience.

The Gunners continue to chase midfield reinforcements this summer; Morgan Schneiderlin had been a priority target before rival interest from Tottenham emerged, while enquiries have been made regarding Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira, who is chasing a £200,000-per-week deal.

Jack Wilshere could also be deployed in a deeper role this season, with Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Alexi Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla all providing competition in attacking areas.

Arteta, the captain, could therefore find himself down the pecking order in north London with a year left on his contract, but both the player himself and his agent have insisted he is happy at the Emirates.

"I can't stop the rumours, but what I am certain is that I'm really happy here, I feel valued, I have been given a lot of responsibility and I like it," he in July.

"Until the club think something different about me, I'm happy. I had a conversation with the manager. He knows my opinion and we’re fine."

Monreal has struggled to nail down the left-back berth since arriving from Malaga in 2013 and has been linked with a move to Atletico Madrid in recent weeks, though Arsene Wenger is keen to bring a replacement on board before allowing any defenders to leave.

Real Madrid right-back Alvaro Arbeloa has emerged as a target for the Gunners in recent days, according to reports in Spain.