Arsenal boss Unai Emery is reluctant to sanction Nacho Monreal’s transfer before Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham.
Monreal, 33, is on the brink of sealing a move to Real Sociedad, despite starting all three Premier League games this season.
The left-back position has been problematic for Arsenal since the start of the campaign.
Arsenal signed Kieran Tierney as Monreal’s long-term successor but the £25m former Celtic ace is unlikely to return to full fitness until October.
Sead Kolasinac has also endured a difficult spell after facing down a carjacking gang in July.
Monreal is in the final year of his contract and will not be offered an extension by Arsenal.
A move to Real Sociedad appeals because the Basque club have tabled a two-year deal, with the option for a further season.
According to Mundo Deportivo , Emery is sympathetic to Monreal’s wish to return to Spain.
But the Arsenal boss wants to have the defender at his disposal for Sunday’s visit of Tottenham to the Emirates Stadium.
The 3-1 loss at Liverpool last weekend was the Gunners’ first loss of the campaign and Emery is eager to get his troops back on track.
Speaking after the Anfield result, Emery indicated Monreal could be on the move.
“Some players can leave but we cannot sign another and it depends a little over the next days how we can decide about some circumstances with some players,” he said.
“With Nacho one possibility is open and we are going to speak about that.”
Monreal would face a race against time to complete the switch to Real Sociedad if he lines up to face Tottenham at 4.30pm on Sunday.
The transfer window closes for La Liga clubs on Monday, September 2 at 11.59pm CEST.
Arsenal are expected to demand a nominal fee for Monreal’s services.