Arsenal sign Spain international left-back Nacho Monreal in '£10.5m' deal

Málaga defender joins the Gunners on a long-term contract

Majid Mohamed@Majid_Mohamed
Friday 01 February 2013 00:59
Monreal in action for Spain
Monreal in action for Spain

Arsenal have signed Spain international left-back Ignacio “Nacho” Monreal.

The Gunners have confirmed that the Spanish international defender has agreed to join on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee.

The fee, although not disclosed, is believed to be just over €12million (£10.5million).

The 26-year-old is ineligible to play for Arsenal in the Champions League after already playing for Málaga in the group stage this season.

Monreal helped Málaga top their Champions League group despite facing former champions AC Milan, Zenit St Petersburg and Anderlecht.

He will link up with former team-mate Santi Cazorla who joined Arsenal from the La Liga side in the summer.

Monreal has represented his country Spain at youth level, Under-21s and has made nine appearances for the national team since making his debut against Macedonia in 2009.

He started his career at Osasuna before moving to Málaga in June 2011.

Spanish news outlets also linked Arsenal with a late swoop for Athletic Bilbao player Fernando Amorebieta but the Basque side refused to sell him.

Manager Arsène Wenger said on the clubs official website: “We are delighted that Nacho Monreal has agreed to join us. We have been monitoring him for some time now and are really pleased that we’ve been able to agree this move today.

"Monreal is a strong left-sided defender with good experience at both club and international level. He is a technically gifted player, a good crosser in the final third and strong in the air. Monreal will add quality to our squad and of course, to our defensive unit. We all look forward to him playing for us.”

The deal is subject to the completion of formal registration processes, according to Arsenal.

The Gunners needed a left-back after Kieran Gibbs suffered a thigh injury in the Premier League clash against Liverpool last night.

The injury is set to rule him out for three weeks. His understudy, the Brazilian defender Andre Santos, has failed to impress in Gibbs’ absence on previous occasions.

Wenger also admitted the loss of Gibbs, who will now miss the England friendly against Brazil at Wembley, was a “big blow”.

“Gibbs was an important player for us going forward and the game we want to play. It is a shame he is out for the next three weeks,” the Arsenal boss said.

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