Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce that Spanish international defender Nacho Monreal has agreed to join the Gunners on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee.

Monreal (26), who will join Arsenal from Spanish La Liga side Malaga, is predominantly a left full-back and has represented his country Spain at youth level, Under-21s and has made nine appearances for the national team.

Full name Ignacio Monreal Eraso, but known as ‘Nacho’, the defender started his career with his hometown club Osasuna, where he progressed through the youth ranks to become a regular in the first team, making 127 appearances for the La Liga side. During that time he was an integral part of the team which reached the Europa League Semi-Final in 2007.

Monreal’s performances for Osasuna earned him recognition on the international stage, firstly with the Spanish under-21s, where he notably started all his country’s matches in the 2009 Under-21 European Championships, and later became a full international, making his debut for Spain in a friendly win over Macedonia in August 2009.

In June 2011, Monreal signed for Malaga, where he was a regular in the team, alongside Santi Cazorla, which finished fourth in the La Liga, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the club’s history. Monreal made a total of 45 appearances during his time with the southern Spanish side.

Manager Arsène Wenger said: “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.”

The deal is subject to the completion of formal registration processes.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 1 Feb 2013