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Barcelona pulls out of race to sign Arsenal January target

Barcelona have pulled out of the race to sign world class midfielder in January, leaving Arsenal clear favourite

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Image credit: Getty Images

Barcelona have pulled out of the race to sign Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi in January.

Zubimendi has drawn significant interest from Arsenal ahead of the January transfer window and was linked with a move to Barcelona who is seen as a potential successor to Sergio Busquets following the latter’s departure this summer to join Inter Miami alongside Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba.

Xavi Hernandes had lauded Zubimendi’s abilities, highlighting his physicality and speed compared to Busquets, albeit noting the latter’s technical prowess. Speaking ahead of a Copa del Rey clash between Barcelona and Real Sociedad, Xavi praised the overall quality of Real Sociedad’s midfield, singling out Zubimendi as an exceptional talent.

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Despite Arsenal’s summer acquisition of Declan Rice bolstering their midfield, reports suggest their interest in Zubimendi persists. With a release clause of €60 million (£51.5 million), the possibility of Zubimendi making a move to Arsenal during the January transfer window is deemed “certainly possible.”

Martin Zubimendi

Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi is a target for Arsenal in January (Image credit: Getty Images)

Arteta acknowledged the potential for January transfers, citing the club’s current injury woes and the need for adaptation. “We’re going to have to adapt,” he remarked, stressing the importance of assessing the squad’s condition and needs before making any moves. 

However, reports from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo indicate a change in Barcelona’s plans, revealing the club’s desire to secure a midfielder akin to Real Madrid’s Aurelien Tchouameni as Busquets’ replacement. This shift in focus has seen Barcelona eyeing alternatives such as Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes, Everton’s Amadou Onana, and Monaco’s Youssouf Fofana.

This decision by Barcelona to shift their midfield targets has presented a potential opportunity for Arsenal, with Mikel Arteta reportedly an admirer of Zubimendi. The Spanish international had been close to a move to Arsenal earlier in the year but opted to remain at Real Sociedad, contributing to their Champions League qualification out of loyalty to the club.

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