Nacho Monreal wants to stay at Arsenal despite Bilbao advances

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  • Nacho Monreal joined Arsenal from Malaga in 2013.

    Nacho Monreal has moved to end speculation about his Arsenal future, insisting he “would like to stay” at the FA Cup champions.

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    Monreal, 29, has recently been linked with a return to Spain with Athletic Bilbao.

    The rumours had grown as the left-back – who started Saturday’s 4-0 thumping of Aston Villa at Wembley which saw the Gunners become the competition’s most-successful side with 12 wins – has only one year remaining on the contract signed when he joined from Malaga in 2013.

    But speaking as he visited Arsenal Soccer School Dubai with the FA Cup trophy, Monreal declared he had no intention of leaving Emirates Stadium and hoped talks about a new deal would be successful.

    He said: “I have one more year on my contract and I would like to stay at Arsenal. I am very lucky to play for Arsenal, and am very happy to play for Arsenal.

    “I would like to stay. If the boss [Arsene Wenger] wants me to stay, I will do as I am very happy.”

    He added: “I only have one more year left on my contract. I am really happy and would like to stay at Arsenal.

    “I am in contact with the club. My main intention is to stay at Arsenal, I hope I can extend my contract.”

    The Gunners ended their top-flight campaign in third, an impressive run of six victories in a row between March and April helping to secure their highest finish since 2011-12.

    This feel-good factor was added to by the weekend’s thrashing, goals from Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud seeing the club retain the FA Cup.

    Very proud of this team, second FA Cup in a row…. What a feeling!!!!

    — nacho monreal (@_nachomonreal) May 30, 2015

    Arsenal have not been able to lift the Premier League title in more than decade however, the fabled Invincibles claiming the 2003-04 crown without losing.

    The club have also never managed to lift the UEFA Champions League, disappointingly going out in the round-of-16 stage to Monaco during this season's competition.

    Monreal urged the Gunners board to buy “one or two players” this summer to help them push on.

    He said: “We are a good team, with amazing players at this moment. If we want to fight to win the Premier League this summer, hopefully the club will bring in one or two top layers.

    “We will be stronger and have more chance to fight for the Premier League.

    “We are very happy to win the FA Cup. I would like next year to fight for things, like the Premier League and Champions League. We know this competition is really difficult, with a lot of good teams.”

    Monreal has made 61 top-flight appearances for the north London outfit, usurping Kieran Gibbs as their first-choice left-back during the second half of the 2014-15 season.

    “Kieran is an amazing player,” he said. “I can imagine it is really difficult for the boss to choose between Kieran and me.

    “Obviously in football, only 11 players can start the game. The boss can choose between him or me. I think this is a good thing for the team.

    "I have to give my best every day in training, or I wouldn’t play. I think in this position, we are lucky as we have two good players. I have played a lot of games this season, I would like to continue.”