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Xavi eyes Arsenal target after deciding to stay at Barcelona

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has identified Arsenal long term target as the player he wants to bring to the Camp Nou next season

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Image credit: Getty Images

Barcelona manager Xavi has set his sights on acquiring Real Sociedad’s defensive midfielder Martin Zubimendi, adding a new twist to Arsenal’s pursuit of the talented 25-year-old.

Zubimendi, a long-standing transfer target for Arsenal under manager Mikel Arteta, has been on the radar of several top clubs. However, Xavi’s interest in Zubimendi has intensified following his decision to reverse his previous plan to leave Barcelona.

According to reports from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Xavi holds a strong affinity for Zubimendi, presenting a potential setback for Arsenal’s transfer plans. Despite Arteta’s admiration for the Spanish midfielder and talks held earlier this year, Xavi’s desire to secure Zubimendi’s services could complicate Arsenal’s pursuit.

The defensive midfielder has a €60 million (£52.6m) release clause in his current contract, which Arsenal had been considering triggering in the upcoming summer transfer window. However, Barcelona’s sudden interest adds a new dimension to the transfer saga.

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Arsenal target Martin Zubimendi

Arsenal target Martin Zubimendi (Image credit: Getty Images)

Arsenal had earmarked Zubimendi as a potential replacement for Thomas Partey, with the Ghanaian midfielder possibly heading to the Saudi Pro League to alleviate the club’s wage bill. However, Xavi’s admiration for Zubimendi and Barcelona’s entry into the race could alter Arsenal’s transfer plans.

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The competition for Zubimendi’s signature is further intensified by interest from German giants Bayern Munich, who are also vying for the midfielder’s services.

Xavi’s announcement of his commitment to Barcelona’s project emphasizes the club’s determination to continue building for the future. Despite acknowledging the challenging circumstances, Xavi remains focused on consolidating Barcelona’s project and believes in the club’s long-term stability.

“Everybody knows my feelings for this club, I’ve always tried to do the best for Barcelona, it’s a club I know well, the most important thing is to think about the institution,’ Xavi said at a press conference on Thursday.

“Yesterday, I was told my job is up to the results, I’ve received a lot of confidence from the president, the board, the entire board and staff, it was important to have the support of my players as well.”

“We all believe this project needs to continue, as I told the president we believe in the stability of the club, I’ve seen now this project isn’t finished yet, we need to continue, we’re working well, it looks like we will not win any titles but we have won in the past.

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