Arsenal left-back Nacho Monreal has confirmed he is in talks to renew his contract because his "idea is to stay" at the north London side for the long term. The Spanish star's deal is set to expire at the end of the current campaign although the Gunners have the option to automatically extend it by a further year.
It is understood that the club want to commit his future to a longer deal as a reward for his impressive performances since beating Kieran Gibbs to the left-back role. However, reports in Spain since the summer of 2014 claimed the player may be hesitant to prolong his deal as he would like to return to his homeland one day amid the constant speculation linking him with Athletic Bilbao.
Monreal has now clarified the situation, claiming he wishes to reach an agreement that satisfies all parties. "I have always said that my idea is to stay here because I am very well both with my teammates and with the club," he said to Talksport. "We are talking [with the club], we need to talk and reach an agreement. I wish that to happen. Of course I'd like to stay here."
Monreal moved to north London in January 2013 after an impressive spell at Malaga. It took a while for him to get used to the pace of the Premier League but has since become a key figure in Arsene Wenger's line-up.
Asked about the competition with the England international, he said: "I'm happy because I'm playing a lot and giving a good level. "I feel confident and I feel that the coach also has confidence in me. I just want to help the team, I do not want to relax, I try to give my best at every game to help the team.
"But I am also aware that on the bench there is a great player like Gibbs and that should I relax, the manager will make rotations. Kieran has already proven to be a great player. My idea is to continue to do well to keep the trust of the boss."
The defender, however, has fallen out of favour of Spain manager Vicente del Bosque and is behind the likes of Barcelona's Jordi Alba, Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta and Bayern Munich's Juan Bernat. He is aware of the competition for the role in the national team but is confident he can get a place in the side ahead of the 2016 European Championship.
He said: "It is complicated because there are many players like Cesar, Bernat or Jordi Alba. It is difficult but I have not lost the hope. I would like to go back. I'm doing things the best I can and if the manager decides to call me back it would be welcome."