Arsenal snubbed as £51m ‘priority’ will ‘only leave’ for two clubs as Gunners eye four alternatives

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal transfer target Martin Zubimendi and Mikel Arteta
Martin Zubimendi was believed to be Mikel Arteta's top target.

According to reports, Arsenal have been snubbed by ‘priority’ target Martin Zubimendi, who will ‘only leave’ Real Sociedad for two other clubs.

The Gunners are expected to pursue a couple of marquee signings this summer after they missed out on the 2023/24 Premier League title to Manchester City on the final day.

Technical director Edu is likely to be in the market for a new striker to compete with Germany international Kai Havertz as Gabriel Jesus and/or Eddie Nketiah could leave the club this summer. 

It is also being reported that Arsenal will sign a new defensive midfielder with Thomas Partey expected to move elsewhere. This transfer would also enable Declan Rice to be operated further forward in a No.8 role.

Real Sociedad standout Zubimendi has been heavily linked with the Premier League giants as his performances in La Liga earned him his debut for Spain.

The 25-year-old is under contract until 2027 but he could leave for £51m this summer as there is a release clause in his current deal with Real Sociedad.

Last month, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano insisted Zubimendi is “super happy at Real Sociedad” but he is “surely on the list at Arsenal and Bayern Munich”.

“Martin Zubimendi is still super happy at Real Sociedad. He loves the club, the city, the fans. No issues,” Romano said.

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“Of course, if any club will trigger his release clause it will be up to the player to decide on the next move, but he’s surely on the list at Arsenal and Bayern (I never said Bayern were unlikely, just that he was a top target in case Alonso joined and it now will depend on the new coach).

“So, let’s wait and see on the movements in the summer, but Zubimendi is not pushing to leave, however, in case of proposals, he will consider his future.”

According to reports in Spain, Arsenal were ‘willing’ to pay Zubimendi’s release clause but he has ‘ruled out’ a move to the Emirates.

Arsenal are reportedly of the understanding that he would ‘only leave’ Real Sociedad for Barcelona or Real Madrid. Regarding potential alternatives, the report adds.

‘The Gunners, given the player’s refusal to leave La Liga, have already opened other options to reinforce their squad, such as Joao Neves, Amadou Onana, Bruno Guimaraes or Douglas Luiz, although the latter is somewhat more complicated.’

Onana – who is also being linked with Barcelona – has fuelled exit reports by suggesting he hopes his performances at Euro 2024 can earn him a move to a “top club” this summer.

“At previous tournaments, you have seen that the players who did well make the step up to the top clubs. That’s something I strive for,” Onana said.

“I feel like presenting myself to the European top and showing what I have to offer. This European Championship is a stage.”

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