Nacho Monreal is hopeful that the rigorous methods introduced by new Arsenal boss Unai Emery can play a part in prolonging his career in north London as he continues negotiations over an extended contract.
Arsenal's players have spoken of feeling refreshed by a more intense approach to training since Emery succeeded Arsene Wenger, and the Spanish full-back is intent on extending his five-year stay at the Emirates, despite interest from abroad.
Monreal, who has made 165 appearances for Arsenal since joining from Malaga in 2013, has entered the final year of his contract and will be free to enter into discussion with foreign clubs from January 1 if no new deal is reached.
But the defender is hopeful of remaining a part of his fellow countryman’s plans as the club bed into their new era.
“At the moment we are talking with the club,” Monreal told the Evening Standard . “I’ve always said I am really happy, I feel very happy playing for Arsenal. I came six years ago. I have a good relationship with them.
"We are in contact in any moment so don’t worry about that. I am happy here. That is the most important thing.”
Arsenal have started the new season with two wins and two defeats under Emery, but players have described feeling re-energized by the new manager’s approach to training sessions as the club look to shed some of the frailties that dogged the finals years of Wenger’s reign
“In training, he [Emery] likes that every single player gives his 100 per cent in any moment,” said Monreal. “Training is one hour and a half, [maybe] one hour 40, whatever, [and] all the time we must give our best performance. If we have to run, we have to do it, don’t save any energy.”
Monreal turns 33 in February, and has featured in three of Arsenal’s four Premier League outings this term, scoring once. He says retirement hasn't yet entered into his thoughts.
“My idea is to play in football until my body says ‘Nacho, so sorry but that’s the end’. But I think it is far [away]. I hope so. You never know because your body, sometimes you start with some problems, some injuries and you can’t continue giving 100 per cent.”