Premier League • England

Arsenal handed huge lift to hopes of landing €60m perfect Rice partner in dazzling LaLiga raid

Mikel Arteta, Martin Zubimendi

Martin Zubimendi remains a top target for Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta

Arsenal are still eyeing Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi as a summer transfer window target, with two factors reportedly placing a move to The Emirates in their favour.

It’s common knowledge that Mikel Arteta plans to bring in another midfielder to partner Declan Rice this summer and highly-rated Sociedad star Zubimendi could well be that man.

Indeed, Arsenal transfer insider Charles Watts mentioned the 25-year-old when speaking about Gunners targets to CaughtOffside recently.

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He said: “I do expect Arsenal to sign a midfielder this summer, but a lot will depend on what happens with the midfielders they currently have.

“Ideally they would like Jorginho to stay, and then they have to sort out Thomas Partey’s future. Partey still has a year left on his deal and, just like last summer, Arsenal would not stand in his way of leaving should a decent offer arrive for the Ghana international.

“Should that happen, then they would have to replace him and Martin Zubimendi is a player they believe can play the Partey role.

“Mikel Arteta knows Zubimendi well and is a big admirer of the Spain international, but there is uncertainty around whether he actually wants to leave Real Sociedad. There is also expected to be strong rival interest in the 25-year-old, so it might not be an easy deal to get done.

“Douglas Luiz is a player Arsenal have tracked for a couple of years now, but the price Aston Villa would demand for the Brazilian would make it a difficult one for Arsenal.

“Everton’s Amadou Onana could be one to watch out for. There were a lot of links with him in January. Again, I was told at the time that there was nothing concrete in that speculation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is someone Arsenal look at when the season ends.”

But in terms of the Zubimendi interest, that has now been ramped up following Fabrizio Romano’s latest comments.

Arsenal boosted after Zubimendi update

Posting on his official account on X, Romano suggests that Arsenal could now be in a good position to sign Zubimendi as Barcelona’s interest in the Spain international seems to have gone quiet, while Bayern Munich’s pursuit could depend on who their new manager is.

It seems Zubimendi could have been a good option for Bayern under Xabi Alonso, but it’s now less clear if he’ll be targeted as a priority by whoever comes in next.

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That news is most definitely a boost for Arsenal and their hopes of bringing in Zubimendi, although they could still face some strong opposition from other clubs if the player becomes available.

He currently has a €60m release clause, although it’s unclear whether the Spanish outfit are prepared to listen to offers below that figure.

Zubimendi has scored seven goals in 185 appearances for Sociedad, having been with the club since the age of 12.