Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Barcelona plot hijack of Man Utd, Arsenal approach for £60m LaLiga star; Ten Hag and Arteta will be furious

Martin Zubimendi Real Sociedad v Man Utd

Barcelona have reportedly joined the race for Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi, who is a key target for both Manchester United and Arsenal. 

The 24-year-old is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in LaLiga. So, it’s no surprise to see three top clubs circling for his signature.

Indeed, it now seems there could be a three-way battle between Barcelona, Man Utd and Arsenal for Zubimendi this summer.

As reported by TEAMtalk, Man Utd have made the Spaniard their ‘most urgent priority’ in the transfer market. This comes shortly after Arsenal believed they were ‘close’ to finalising a deal.

It’s no secret that Erik ten Hag and Mikel Arteta are in the market for new midfielders. Scott McTominay is expected to depart Old Trafford at the end of the season, for instance.

As for Arsenal, they have been linked with Zubimendi for some time. But, they are also ready to make a big money move for West Ham captain Declan Rice.

However, if Barcelona come in for Zubimendi, they could potentially scupper both of the Premier League rival’s plans.

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Barcelona eye Zubimendi as Busquets replacement

Indeed, according to the Daily MirrorBarcelona will make a fresh attempt to sign Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi after Arsenal failed with a £53m bid in January.

The midfielder has a £53million (€60m) release clause in his contract at Real Sociedad. So, Barca, Man Utd and Arsenal will have to match that fee to finalise a deal.

Since breaking into the Sociedad first team in 2019, Zubimendi has made 139 appearances for the Spanish club. In the process, he has scored four goals and made five assists.

Generally operating from defensive midfield, his best attributes are his ability to break up opposition attacks, as well as his excellent passing range.

Now, Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is intent on buying a new holding midfielder to replace the outgoing Sergio Busquets, who will end his illustrious career at the Camp Nou this summer.

Some pundits have even dubbed Zubimendi as ‘the next Busquets,’ so, he could prove to be the ideal signing for the Catalans.

When asked about the comparisons with Busquets in an interview, Zubimendi said: “If you compare any player to Busquets, they already lost. He is the best.

“We play in the same position, but we are very different. Busquets is a [household name], and he will continue to be one for a long time.”

Nevertheless, Barcelona are reportedly very interested in signing Zubimendi. So, Man Utd and Arsenal have a battle on their hands to secure his services.

READ MORE: Newcastle prepare mega-money offer to beat Arsenal to Barcelona star; Catalans ‘happy’ to let him leave