Arteta ‘seduces’ Arsenal target with Barcelona transfer ‘only a dream’ due to £51m demand

Jason Soutar
Arsenal target Martin Zubimendi has plenty of options this summer
Martin Zubimendi has plenty of options this summer

According to reports, Real Sociedad will not sell Martin Zubimendi for anything less than his £51million release clause, giving Arsenal the upper hand over Barcelona.

Zubimendi is one of the Gunners’ top summer targets with Mikel Arteta seeking a new defensive midfielder.

He has been excellent for Sociedad since becoming a first-team regular in 2020.

The 25-year-old now has 188 appearances for the San Sebastian club, scoring eight goals and providing seven assists.

There has been a lot of interest from Arsenal in recent years and that interest is expected to accelerate when the summer transfer window opens.

Arteta was reportedly prioritising the signing of a new striker at the end of the season but Kai Havertz’s superb form this year means he can instead concentrate on signing a deep-lying midfielder.

The Gunners are believed to be looking at Newcastle United’s Bruno Guimaraes and Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz Zubimendi’s name keeps cropping up.

Arsenal target Zubimendi ‘seduced’ by Premier League

The most recent update on the Spanish midfielder’s situation comes from Sport in Spain (via Sport Witness).

It has been claimed by journalist Carlos Monfort that Barcelona sporting director Deco met with the player’s agent on Monday but the La Liga giants are unlikely to be able to afford him.

This is because Sociedad have no intention to negotiate the sale and have told interested clubs to either pay his €60million (£51m) release clause or jog on.

Barcelona, as you are surely aware, are a bit strapped for cash and are not in a position to pay that sort of fee in a one-off payment, making the signing of Zubimendi ‘only a dream’.

Blaugrana president Joan Laporta will need to sell a player or two before he can afford to trigger Zubimendi’s release clause, with several players reportedly available this summer.

This gives Arsenal and Bayern Munich – who are also keen – a massive advantage over Barcelona, with a move to England or Germany ‘making more sense’.

📣 TO THE COMMENTS! Would Zubimendi fit in at Arsenal? Join the debate here.

Both clubs are said to ‘have room for manoeuvre’ and are in a good position to win the race for the Sociedad man’s signature, with Zubimendi ‘seduced’ by the idea of playing in the Premier League under Arteta.

Arsenal’s advantageous position is enhanced by previous reports claiming Bayern are no longer interested in Zubimendi, while Barca are obviously skint.

Martin Zubimendi to Arsenal: Who will leave Arteta’s side?

Interest in Zubimendi comes with Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey expected to leave the Emirates this summer.

Elneny is out of contract, while Partey is entering the final year of his deal and has reported interest from Italy and Saudi Arabia.

There has been a lot of talk surrounding the future of Jorginho, who is also out of contract at the end of 2023/24.

The Italian midfielder has reportedly been offered a new deal with Arteta very eager to continue working with him.

More: Arsenal | Premier League | Barcelona