Nacho Monreal “There Were Possibilities To Sign With Athletic”
Just a few years ago Athletic were regularly linked with a move for Nacho Monreal during every transfer window. In fact, the Lions had shown interest in the left-back ever since he was a promising young player at Osasuna but, in the end, nothing ever came of it. Athletic signed Yuri Berchiche last year and Nacho Monreal finally made his return to the Basque Country, joining Real Sociedad over the summer.
“When I was with Málaga there were possibilities to sign with Athletic”, Monreal admitted on Fuera de Juego Monday night. “I’m not going to tell you that I was very close, but there were possibilities.” Monreal would eventually leave Málaga for Arsenal in 2013 where he became a key player for the English club.
When asked why he never made the switch to Athletic Monreal shared that he was always interested in a move to San Mamés. “The only reason I’m not finishing my career at Athletic is because the three parties have to agree to a transfer and, for one reason or another, that agreement was never reached”, he answered. Now the 33-year-old will have the opportunity to play against the Zurigorri.
While Athletic and Real Sociedad may be the two biggest clubs in the Basque Country, Monreal will always have a special place in his heart for his boyhood Osasuna. “For me, the two most important games of the season will be the ones we play against Osasuna. I grew up at El Sadar and I’m very happy with their promotion. It’s the team of my land and the team that gave me the opportunity of being a footballer.”
Monreal may already be in the twilight of his career, but he’s not considering hanging up his boots anytime soon. “I’m not thinking about retirement, but if I still have the opportunity to retire at Osasuna it would be a nice way to do it”, he said. “It will be very special to play at El Sadar again after so many years. Playing at home with my friends and family watching will be special”. Nacho Monreal will make his return to El Sadar when Real Sociedad travel to play Osasuna in late December.