By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Arsenal have agreed a fee with Malaga to sign Spain international left-back Nacho Monreal, Goal.com has learned.
But the Gunners’ deadline-day pursuit of Athletic Bilbao centre-back Fernando Amorebieta has fallen through after he decided to stay in Spain until the summer.
The Londoners had centred their deadline-day sights on Spain as Arsene Wenger made a late bid to shore up his leaky defence.
Arsenal were in talks in the final hours of the window to sign both Monreal, 26, and Amorebieta, 27, with a fee of between €4.6 million and €7m being discussed for the Venezuela international.
Reports in Spain say that Monreal is on a flight to London to discuss terms with Arsenal.
Monreal, who has won nine caps for Spain, has emerged as Wenger’s specialist left-back target to provide competition for Kieran Gibbs, who suffered a thigh injury against Liverpool on Wednesday.
The Gunners boss faces a race against the clock to bring him in, while he is also trying to off-load Andre Santos to Fenerbahce.
Goal.com revealed on Thursday morning that Arsene Wenger was planning at least one late swoop in a bid to shore up his leaky defence.
One option that had been considered by Wenger was to bring in a centre-half and switch versatile skipper Thomas Vermaelen to left-back.
He made a move for Amorebieta, a Venezuela international, after learning of his availability.
Bilbao president Josu Urrutia revealed on Wednesday that the club had withdrawn a contract offer made three weeks ago and admitted that “we cannot say that Amorebieta will be an Athletic player next season”.
Wenger wants at least one permanent signing to integrate into his defence, who have struggled against top quality opposition this season.
The manager is reluctant to use Gibbs’ deputy Santos at left-back during the absence of the Englishman, which is expected to be for around three weeks.
Santos’ former club Fenerbahce remain keen on taking the Brazilian back to Turkey and a deal is possible if they can match his wages.