Arsenal emerge as ‘great favourites’ to ‘close’ £51m signing after Arteta ‘seduces’ Barcelona target

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal transfer
Martin Zubimendi is being linked with Arsenal.

According to reports, Arsenal have emerged as the ‘great favourites’ in the race to sign FC Barcelona target Martin Zubimendi from Real Sociedad.

The Gunners have acted wisely in the transfer market as they have progressed rapidly to become a serious contender for the Premier League title.

The London outfit are unlikely to stand still this summer and sporting director Edu will already be working to identify their priority summer targets ahead of next season.

It is being widely reported that they are looking to bring in a new striker to replace Eddie Nketiah and/or Gabriel Jesus. They are also likely to sign a new centre-midfielder with Thomas Partey expected to head elsewhere.

Zubimendi = The perfect signing?

Arsenal have consistently been linked with Zubimendi in recent months. Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has boldly argued that he would be the “perfect” signing for the Premier League side.

The 25-year-old defensive midfielder – who has a £51m release clause in his contract – progressed through the ranks at Real Sociedad and has already made just short of 200 appearances for the La Liga team.

His potential arrival at the Emirates would enable Mikel Arteta – who has reportedly ‘seduced’ the midfielder – to use England international Declan Rice in a more advanced No.8 role.

A report from 90min claims Zubimendi and Bruno Guimaraes are among Arsenal’s ‘top targets’.

’90min understands who Arsenal buy will depend on their longer-term plans for Rice.

‘Mikel Arteta likes to have defined roles for his midfielders and they are still to decide on whether the England international should play predominantly as a number six or number eight.

‘Although flexibility is appreciated, how Rice is classified internally will determine who Arsenal target.’

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A report from Spanish outlet Fichajes meanwhile goes a bit further. They describe Arsenal as the ‘great favourites to the close the signing’ of Zubimendi.

‘Interest in Zubimendi is not limited to Arsenal, as Barcelona have also shown a long-standing interest in signing the midfielder.

‘However, the Catalan club’s financial situation could make it difficult to activate the €60 million buyout clause in the player’s contract.

‘Despite the competition, Arsenal emerge as the favorites to secure Zubimendi’s signature, especially given the player’s desire to try his luck in the Premier League.

‘With the possible departure of Thomas Partey in the summer, Zubimendi is set to be an ideal replacement in the Gunners’ midfield, strengthening their squad ahead of next season.’

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