Arsenal midfielder Nacho Monreal has committed his future to the Gunners after admitting that he is happy in London 'both on and off the pitch'. The Spanish international has been linked with a move away with Athletic Bilbao being touted as his potential destination.
There were several reports linking the former Malaga fullback with a return to the La Liga, but he has poured cold water over the speculation by insisting that he is happy with his current club and his teammates. Monreal has 18 months left on his current deal and has confirmed that he is in talks with the club over an extension.
The 29-year-old defender has usurped Kieran Gibbs to become Arsene Wenger's preferred choice at left-back and is the only Arsenal player to have played every minute in the Premier League thus far this campaign. Monreal, who is primarily left-back, showed versatility last season to cover for Laurent Koscielny at centre-back and has shown good defensive awareness in his performances this season. He has also contributed with two assists and has formed a strong understanding with Alexis Sanchez on the left wing for the Gunners.
"Everything feels right. I can say that I feel at home on and off the pitch. If you don't feel good off the pitch and in life in general, obviously you can't give 100 per cent. However, at the moment, I love England, I love London and I love my team-mates so everything is positive," Monreal told the Arsenal weekly podcast.
The former Malaga defender, who joined Arsenal in 2013 following a phone call from former teammate Santi Cazorla, has admitted that the Spanish contingent at the club which includes Mikel Arteta and Hector Bellerin helped him settle down and admits that learning English, despite being a challenge, was the most important thing in his settling down process.
"When I arrived here I knew that the first thing I had to do was learn English because, if you want to speak to your team-mates, the staff and anyone here, you need to learn the language. It was difficult for me because I'm very bad with different languages but I am trying."
"Mikel, Santi and Hector were very helpful for me because I didn't speak English when I arrived, I didn't understand anything, so every time I had a problem or didn't understand something they explained it to me. Even in the evenings, sometimes you have nothing to do and you can spend your time with them. They helped me a lot," the Spanish international explained.