Man City ‘more likely’ to buy Newcastle star Arsenal ‘appreciate’ with Arteta ‘obsession’ now ‘realistic’

Jason Soutar
Arsenal-linked Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi and Newcastle United's Bruno Guimaraes
Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi and Newcastle United's Bruno Guimaraes

The summer ‘priority’ for Arsenal is to sign a new midfielder and they are currently looking at Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi and Newcastle United’s Bruno Guimaraes, according to reports.

Arsenal were reportedly interested in signing Guimaraes from Lyon before he joined Newcastle in January 2022.

Since moving to the Premier League, the Brazilian has been outstanding, helping the Magpies qualify for the 2023/24 Champions League through a fourth-place finish in 22/23.

He is one of many high-profile signings made by the Geordies since they were bought by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

Despite having the richest owners in football, the Premier League’s financial rules are having their way with Newcastle, who need to sell before the end of June if they want to abide by the top flight’s Profit and Sustainability rules (PSR).

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The current rules in place have massively limited Newcastle’s ability to spend and there have been lots of rumours surrounding the future of Guimaraes as the north east club reportedly look to raise funds.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked in recent weeks, while Arsenal are believed to be keen on signing Mikel Arteta’s (reported) former target.

What is for sure is that Arteta wants to sign a new midfielder to play alongside Declan Rice.

Writing in his CaughtOffside column, transfer expert Ben Jacobs has said recruiting in midfield is the club’s ‘priority’ – whilst also being in the market for a striker – and who they sign should depend on where Arteta sees Rice playing next season.

Jacobs claims that pursuing Zubimendi – who Arteta is reportedly ‘obsessed’ with – ‘is a realistic possibility’ but it will be difficult to ‘persuade him to leave Real Sociedad’.

‘He’s very happy there and that’s why he stayed at the club in January, though that was also with Champions League football to look forward to in the second half of the season, and now it would be all about persuading the player to leave a club that he’s really settled at,’ Jacobs wrote.

It is added that triggering Guimaraes’ £100m release clause is not something Arsenal are considering, although they do ‘appreciate’ the player, with Man City ‘more likely’ splash the cash on him.

‘We know that Arsenal appreciate Bruno Guimaraes too, but they haven’t made a concrete move and have no plans to trigger his release clause,’ Jacobs adds. ‘If anyone moves there, it’s likely to be Manchester City, but with no one planning to trigger his clause, clubs may wait and see if they can engage with Newcastle at a lower level, perhaps also with Financial Fair Play in mind.

‘It’s not an easy deal, but if Guimaraes were to leave that could be one way to get the deal done, if Newcastle feel obligated to sell due to their financial situation, but even then it’s more likely Man City than Arsenal.’

Arsenal have also been linked with Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz, but Guimaraes’ compatriot is reportedly close to joining Juventus in a spectacular swap deal that would see the Villans land around £17m plus Samuel Iling-Junior and ex-Leeds United loanee Weston McKennie.

Jacobs adds that the Gunners are not in talks to sign Luiz at the moment and will only pursue him ‘if anything falls through’ between Juventus and Villa.

‘We also know that Arsenal have looked at Douglas Luiz before, but they’re not engaged in negotiations with him at the moment – it’s all about Aston Villa and Juventus,’ Jacobs claims. ‘The feeling amongst most in the industry is that Villa need to sell before they can buy…

‘If anything falls through, Arsenal would maybe see a window of opportunity, knowing that Aston Villa need to raise funds, but Zubimendi is a more likely target than Luiz.’

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