Arsenal have completed the signing of left-back Nacho Monreal, on a long-term contract, from Spanish club Malaga. The Gunners, in a statement on their Web site, added the deal was subject to completion of registration. The Mirror reports Monreal has been signed for £8m and he becomes the second ex-Malaga player at the Emirates, after fellow Spanish international Santi Cazorla, who joined in the summer.
"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," Arsene Wenger said on his new signing.
The 26-year-old is widely regarded as the best left-back in Spain, after Barcelona star Jordi Alba.
Monreal has been signed to provide immediate cover for England international Kieran Gibbs, who is sidelined with a thigh injury. However, the Mirror's report indicates the Spaniard is likely to remain first choice even when Gibbs is available, depending, of course, on form.
The only downside for Arsenal in the move is the defender is cup-tied with Malaga, making him ineligible to represent Arsenal in the Champions League this season.
The move puts Andre Santos third in the pecking order for a place in the starting lineup and with Thomas Vermaelen able to slot in at left back, it is unlikely the Brazilian will get any game time in an Arsenal shirt in the near future.
In addition, Goal.com reports Arsenal were also bidding for Athletic Bilbao defender Fernando Amorebieta. The Venezuelan was meant to be a replacement for Swiss centre-back Johan Djourou, who is on loan to Bundesliga side Hannover 96 for the rest of the season. The bid for Amorebieta was between £4m and £6m.