London – Arsenal made a late move on the final day of the January transfer window by announcing on Thursday that they have agreed to sign Spanish left-back Nacho Monreal from Malaga.
In a statement on their website, Arsenal said he had signed a “long-term contract” and although the transfer fee was undisclosed, British media reports said Arsenal had paid around £8.3 million.
“We are delighted that Nacho Monreal has agreed to join us,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
“We have been monitoring him for some time now and are really pleased that we've been able to agree this move today (Thursday).
“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, 26, joined Malaga from Osasuna in 2011 and has represented Spain at international level, although he has never appeared at a major tournament.
He arrives at a timely juncture for Arsenal, who will be without English left-back Kieran Gibbs for three weeks after he sustained a thigh injury during Wednesday's 2-2 draw at home to Liverpool.
The deal, subject to the completion of the relevant paperwork, will be Arsenal's first signing of the January transfer window.
Defender Johan Djourou, midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong and striker Marouane Chamakh have all left the club on loan deals. – Sapa-AFP