Barcelona’s pursuit of Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi has reportedly come to an end due to financial constraints and interest from Arsenal.
Xavi Hernandez, head coach for the Blaugrana, recommended Martin Zubimendi as a potential replacement for Sergio Busquets, but the club instead chose to invest in other positions last summer.
Now, with Arsenal expressing interest and Zubimendi’s €60m release clause, it is unlikely that Barcelona will be able to sign the player.
Barcelona informed Zubimendi’s camp that they would revisit the possibility the following summer, but with the current financial situation and lack of support from the board, they have decided to abandon their pursuit.
Real Sociedad have not shown any willingness to negotiate beyond the player’s release clause.
Zubimendi is open to a move in the future, particularly to the Premier League and to a club with a connection to his home region of Basque. He also shares an agent with Mikel Arteta.
According to reports, Arsenal have been in talks with Zubimendi’s agents in London, but the player is not interested in leaving Real Sociedad this month.
Zubimendi is said to prefer to stay with his current club until the end of the season and is only turning down the Arsenal move for now, but is open to joining in the summer.
The €60m release clause is viewed as affordable by Arsenal and Zubimendi’s preference for the Premier League over La Liga clubs like Barcelona is also a factor.
With the pieces in place for a potential transfer, it remains to be seen if Arsenal will return for Zubimendi in the summer.