By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes| Premier League expert with experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
Nacho Monreal has committed his future to Arsenal by signing a new contract worth £14.6million, Football Insider sources understand.
The Spain international has been handed a £20,000-a-week pay rise as part of the new agreement, which will lift him into the £80,000-a-week bracket.
Football Insider revealed last year that Monreal had agreed a new deal to replace his current £60,000-a-week deal, which began in January 2013 and runs until 2017. It is understood he signed the agreement before Christmas although there has been no announcement from the club.
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The new contract runs over three-and-a-half years and until 2019, which means it is worth an extra £2million to the 29-year-old.
Gunners sources had told Football Insider in August that Arsenal were set to offer Monreal a new contract to ward off interest from Athletic Bilbao.
The Spanish club were interested in paying around £7million to prise the 29-year-old from Emirates Stadium.
But Arsene Wenger does not want to lose Monreal and sanctioned a new contract for the £8million signing from Malaga.
Monreal has been Arsenal’s undisputed first choice left-back over the last 12 months after displacing Kieran Gibbs in the second half of last season.
The Spaniard was a key figure in the team’s renaissance which ended with an FA Cup triumph and a third-placed Premier League finish, and has extended that form this season as Arsenal challenge for the title.
He is regarded by the Arsenal coaching staff as a more reliable defender than Gibbs and has been given the nod over his English rival to start most of the Gunners’ matches this season.