Arsenal

Arsenal

Premier League • England

Arsenal prioritise £52m superstar as most suitable replacement for outbound midfielder

Martin Zubimendi and Jorginho

Arsenal are ready to modify their midfield again after last summer's purchase of Declan Rice

Arsenal have identified the most suitable profile and best value-for-money option to replace Jorginho this summer amid fears that the Italy international will retreat to Serie A, according to reports.

Jorginho is approaching the end of his contract with Arsenal, who have been impressed by his performances this season but may need to target another new midfielder if he doesn’t extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium.

Last summer, Arsenal broke their transfer record to welcome Declan Rice to their midfield. This year, they will be preparing to make another investment in that department if Jorginho goes.

And their chosen replacement seems to be Martin Zubimendi after CaughtOffside claimed they are ‘increasingly leaning towards’ the Spaniard as their ‘priority’ midfield target.

Zubimendi has spent his entire career so far with Real Sociedad, but is believed to have the traits required to succeed in Arsenal’s setup. Indeed, it is claimed he would be a like-for-like successor to Jorginho.

Furthermore, Zubimendi represents good value for money, because he has a release clause worth €60m, the equivalent to £52m.

It makes him more appealing than, say, Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa, who has a much higher valuation by his current employers.

However, it would still require a financial effort, especially considering Jorginho could walk away for free. The report elaborates that long-term admirers Juventus could get their hands on the 32-year-old, who used to play for Napoli.

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Can Arsenal convince Zubimendi?

Whereas Jorginho is free to choose his next club this year, that would only be the case for Zubimendi if someone activates his release clause.

Even then, they may face a battle to convince him to leave Real Sociedad, where he remains under contract until 2027 and insists he is settled.

Last May, Zubimendi told Marca: “I have never planned to leave Real Sociedad, I always say that. I love life here, at home, I’m so happy here.

“The values of this club are the same as mine so I feel very good, I always said that I’m happy.”

Arsenal could have a midfield of Declan Rice, Martin Zubimendi and Martin Odegaard

How Arsenal’s midfield could look next season

Reports have since indicated that Arsenal think he could be tempted away from San Sebastian, but it is up to them to try and put the persuading package in front of him.

At the age of 25, which is the same as Rice and Arsenal’s attacking-midfield captain Martin Odegaard, Zubimendi knows he is preparing for the prime years of his career and he will want to ensure he is spending them in the right place.

Champions League involvement is more likely to be on offer with Arsenal than by staying at Real Sociedad, which is one thing to take into account.

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