Arsenal handed blow in pursuit of La Liga midfielder – report

Arsenal are considered unlikely to sign Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi, despite it being claimed the Gunners had been willing to trigger the player’s release clause.

Central midfield is going to be a key area for Arsenal to strengthen this summer as they look to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title again in 2024/25. Jorginho has signed a new contract, but Mohamed Elneny will imminently depart as a free agent, while the club are also expected to offload Thomas Partey should suitable offers arrive for the Ghanaian.

Zubimendi is one option that Mikel Arteta’s side have been repeatedly linked with, although the rumoured interest appears not to be reciprocal.

SPORT writes that the 25-year-old, who has Champions League experience, has already “ruled out” the possibility of joining Arsenal. That is despite the north London side seemingly being prepared to part with the €60m (£51m) that would trigger his release clause with Real Sociedad.

The reported reason, as the Gunners understand it, is that only Barcelona or Real Madrid could tempt the San Sebastian native to leave his boyhood club. Barca may struggle witht the finances of a deal, while Madrid haven’t been linked but will soon require a replacement for the retiring Toni Kroos.

Martin ZubimendiMartin Zubimendi

Zubimendi is available for €60m / Ion Alcoba Beitia/GettyImages

Having been a regular part of the national team fold for the past 15 months, Zubimendi was recently named in coach Luis de la Fuente’s 29-player preliminary squad for Euro 2024. With only three needing to be cut before the tournament, he is expected to be on the plane to Germany.

For Arsenal’s part, they might have to look closer to home in search of a new midfielder, with Amadou Onana, Bruno Guimaraes and Douglas Luiz all potential options. The club has also taken an interest in highly-rated Benfica talent Joao Neves.

Onana in particular has stated his desire to use Euro 2024 as a shop window for himself.

“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,” he 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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