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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Nacho Monreal close to new Arsenal contract - Arsene Wenger

Nacho Monreal has made 20 Premier League appearances this season.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that left-back Nacho Monreal is close to signing a new contract at the club.

Monreal, 29, joined Arsenal from Malaga in January 2013 and he has since made 111 appearances for the side in all competitions.

The Spain international's current terms with the Gunners expire next year, but having emerged as a regular in Arsene Wenger's starting XI the Gunners are keen to extend his stay.

Wenger said in the Daily Mirror: "We'll announce that at some stage, when it's finished. It's not over the line completely but we're not far."

When asked why the club are keen to extend Monreal's contract, Wenger replied: "The regularity of his performances, the fact that he has improved every year since he has arrived.

"He's not necessarily my first-choice left back. He plays more than Kieran Gibbs at the moment, but I think I am a bit spoiled there.

"Gibbs has come back and he has shown again on Saturday a very, very strong level. That makes my decisions at that level [position] very difficult. But overall, Nacho Monreal has been absolutely outstanding."

In the summer, Monreal said he was committed to the club and wants to stay, amid speculation that he could return to Spain with Athletic Bilbao.

The defender was an unused substitute in Arsenal's 3-1 FA Cup win over Sunderland on Saturday but could return to the team for Wednesday's Premier League trip to Liverpool.


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