Nacho Monreal is wanted by Barcelona as a backup for next season because as things stand, he could leave Arsenal on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Barcelona’s need for a backup defender is no surprise given their somewhat lack of depth in central defence and especially at left-back. Transfermarketweb are now reporting of possible interest from the Catalans in Arsenal’s veteran defender, Nacho Monreal, who could be available on a free transfer at the end of the current season.
Monreal’s deal with Arsenal ends at the end of the season, and there had been updates earlier this season that the Spaniard could be handed a new contract at the club. Nothing of that sort has happened yet, although sources still claim that a new deal could be offered to the ageing defender.
In the case that a new contract is not offered, Monreal will be free to leave the club after six and a half years and join whichever side is offering him a chance to play. There was keen interest from Spanish side Real Sociedad last summer, although the defender remained at Arsenal hoping a new deal could be agreed.
Now, with the season reaching its business end, its a make or break situation for Arsenal, who are very much aware of interest in Monreal from other sides. Barcelona are the latest to express an interest and could become a strong option for Monreal if he is to leave the Emirates.
Barcelona are thought to be in the market for a quality defender. They have been strongly linked with Liverpool’s forgotten man, Alberto Moreno, although in Monreal they have identified someone who can take up multiple positions. Barcelona are set to offload a number of their current defenders and are understood to place Monreal in high regard.
Thomas Vermaelen and even Samuel Umtiti are understood to be the defenders Barcelona are ready to sell in the summer, with the latter in fact being strongly linked with a switch to Arsenal themselves. Additionally, the La Liga champions want a player to provide back up to left-back Jordi Alba, who is left alone in his position since the club sold Lucas Digne to Everton last summer.
As for Monreal, there is still a strong chance Arsenal might extend his contract, given his importance in the side. Monreal has played 17 times in the Premier League this season and has contributed immensely from left-back and as a central defender. Over the last few weeks, Monreal has established himself in Unai Emery’s defensive system which has kept Shkodran Mustafi on the bench.
Since joining from Malaga back in 2013, Monreal has made 234 appearances and has proven himself time and again to be one of the most valuable stars at Arsenal, and could be a significant loss for them if he is to leave. As for Barcelona, he could be a valuable addition, especially given his ability to expertly play at left-back and central defence.