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Arsenal to sanction Monreal transfer as club looks for Kolasinac to step up

14:15 BST 28/08/2019
Nacho Monreal Arsenal 2019/20
The Gunners defender is wanted by Real Sociedad and talks over a deal have been ongoing this week

Arsenal will sanction Nacho Monreal’s move to Real Sociedad, if the defender decides he wants to return home.

The La Liga outfit are hoping to sign the experienced left-back before the Spanish transfer window shuts on September 2 and have been in talks with the Gunners over a deal for the past fortnight.

Nothing has been agreed between the two clubs, despite reports in Spain at the weekend suggesting a transfer was imminent.

But Sociedad are hopeful of convincing Monreal to end his stay in north London and are believed to be offering him a three-year deal.

Monreal’s contract at Arsenal has one more year to run and he is aware that it is highly unlikely he will be offered an extension at the Emirates.

So the long-term contract on offer from Sociedad is an appealing one and should he decide a move back to Spain is the best for him and his family, then Arsenal will not stand in his way.

Talks are continuing this week, with the north London club looking for around £3 million ($3.66 million) for the 33-year-old, who has started all three Premier League games so far this season.

Speaking after last weekend’s defeat at Liverpool, Emery admitted that there was a possibility that Monreal could be on the move.

“Some players can leave but we cannot sign another and it depends a little over the next days how we can decide about some circumstances with some players,” said Arsenal’s head coach.

“With Nacho one possibility is open and we are going to speak about that.”

Monreal, who arrived from Malaga in 2013, has trained as usual this week at London Colney and Emery is still planning on the defender being available for Sunday’s north London derby against Spurs at the Emirates.

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

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 £25 million ($30.5m) 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.

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

Should a deal be done for Monreal, Arsenal still hope that they can also find a way of securing moves out of the club for Shkodran Mustafi and Mohamed Elneny.

Both players have been told hey are surplus to requirements, with Emery publicly admitting it would be best for their careers to move on.

There is interest from Galatasaray in Elneny, while Mustafi has been linked with the likes of Roma and Monaco. But so far there have been no firm offers for either.