Athletic Bilbao will reportedly look to kick-start their season by bidding €10m for Malaga’s Nacho Monreal in January.
Los Leones have had a turgid campaign to date and are currently 13th in La Liga. The left back position has been a problem for them ever since the departure of Asier del Horno to Chelsea in 2005.
Monreal came through the youth system at Athletic’s local rivals Osasuna. He is a first team regular at Malaga and one of their most prized assets, but after the recent sanction imposed upon them by UEFA Los Boquerones may again be forced to sell players, as they were in the summer.
A marquee purchase could help the troubled Basque club win over disillusioned fans and will reportedly be followed in the summer by another bid for Real Betis midfielder Benat Extebarria, whom they expressed an interest in earlier this year.