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Monreal leaves Arsenal after agreeing two-year Real Sociedad deal

09:15 BST 31/08/2019
Nacho Monreal Arsenal 2018-19
The veteran defender featured in all three of the Gunners' opening league matches but returns to Spain to see out the remainder of his career

Nacho Monreal has left Arsenal after more than six seasons and signed a two-year deal with Real Sociedad.

The 33-year-old started each of the Premier League side's opening three fixtures but Unai Emery admitted his departure was possible following last weekend's 3-1 loss to Liverpool.

As previously revealed by Goal, talks had been ongoing for several weeks to get a deal over the line, with the Gunners looking for around £3 million ($3.5m) for the 33-year-old.

Neither club have revealed details of the fee, however.

An experienced and versatile defender, Monreal moved to north London from Malaga in January 2013 and made 250 appearances in all competitions, scoring 10 goals.

"We would like to thank Nacho for his contribution to the club and everyone at Arsenal wishes him the best for his future," read a statement from Arsenal.

"The transfer is subject to the completion of regulatory processes."

Sociedad, meanwhile, released a statement of their own:

"Real Sociedad and Arsenal FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of Nacho Monreal to the Txuri Urdin team. La Real, in turn, has reached an agreement with the player until June 30, 2021.

"The official presentation will be held on Monday, schedule to be confirmed."

Having allowed Monreal to move on, Arsenal believe that they have enough cover for the left-back position, with Kieran Tierney due back to full fitness in October.

There is also a sense behind the scenes at the Emirates that Sead Kolasinac needs to step up and show he can provide Tierney, signed for £25m from Celtic on transfer deadline day, with genuine competition.

Kolasinac is on £100,000-a-week in north London having signed from Schalke on a free transfer in 2017 and he has impressed at times with his attacking prowess down the left-hand side.

However, question marks remain around his defensive capabilities, especially when playing in a flat back four, and the Gunners want the Bosnia international to show he is good enough to remain at the club for the long-term.

Arsenal return to Premier League action on Sunday as they welcome cross-city rivals Tottenham to the Emirates for a north London derby.