La Liga £53m-rated midfielder not planning to join Arsenal in January

By | January 25, 2023

Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi reportedly has no interest in moving to Arsenal during the January transfer window.

The Gunners have already brought in Leandro Trossard and Jakub Kiwior this month and are being tipped to add to their midfield ranks before the window shuts.

Arsenal failed to bolster their engine room in the summer window, but they have supposedly taken a liking to Zubimendi amid the 23-year-old’s strong form with Sociedad.

Zubimendi is under contract with Imanol Alguacil’s side until 2027, having signed an extension as recently as October, and the deal is understood to include a €60m (£53m) release clause.

According to Carrusel Deportivo, Arsenal have indicated that they would be willing to pay Zubimendi’s release clause, but the Spaniard does not want to leave Sociedad in January.

It remains to be seen whether the midfielder’s stance will change in the summer, but Sociedad are on course to qualify for the 2023-24 Champions League, sitting third in the La Liga table.

Zubimendi has come through the youth system at Real Sociedad and has now made 120 senior appearances for his boyhood club, scoring five goals and setting up five more in the process.

The one-cap Spain international, who was a member of the La Roja squad for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, won the Copa del Rey with Sociedad in 2019-20, and he has also been linked with a move to Barcelona.

La Blaugrana are scoping out potential long-term successors to Sergio Busquets, who is out of contract at the end of the season, and Zubimendi has supposedly emerged as a leading target.

Barcelona boss Xavi will have the chance to scout Zubimendi when the Catalan giants take on Sociedad in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, and the 42-year-old was asked about his side’s interest in the 23-year-old over the weekend.

However, Xavi was not prepared to discuss a possible winter or summer move for Zubimendi and insisted that he will be “very happy” even if the Blaugrana do not make any signings in January.

“I don’t like to talk about players under contract with other teams. We will try to be better than Real Sociedad in the Copa,” Xavi said ahead of Sunday’s 1-0 La Liga win over Getafe.

“If we can reinforce, all the better, but we depend solely and exclusively on fair play. At the moment, things are difficult,” the head coach added.

“I haven’t asked for any reinforcements, I’ve already said that I’m fine as I am. I’m happy and if not we’ll pull from the reserve team and if not we’ll pull from the youth team. I’m delighted with the squad, I have no complaints and I haven’t asked for anything.

“Honestly, I haven’t asked for any signings. It’s difficult to improve the squad we have. It’s not easy to find an important player in winter. If we stay as we are, I’ll be very happy.”

Manchester United are also believed to be keeping tabs on Zubimendi, who is expected to start Wednesday’s clash with Barcelona after returning from a league suspension