Man Utd transfer news: Erik ten Hag moves for Barcelona midfield target with £56m January exit clause

Martin Zubimendi Real Sociedad v Man Utd

Manchester United have joined reportedly LaLiga giants Barcelona in the chase to sign highly-rated Real Sociedad star Martin Zubimendi.

Barca boss Xavi is known to be a big admirer of the 23-year-old midfielder and wants to bring him to the Nou Camp, but United are now being tipped to make a move of their own.

Mundo Deportivo states that Erik ten Hag is ‘following’ the Sociedad’s progress this season.

Spain international Zubimendi only recently extended his contract until 2027, which now includes a €60million release clause. However, that clause increases to €65m (£56m) for the winter market.

While the midfielder’s renewal does make a January move unlikely it’s not out of the question.

Ten Hag is actively looking to bolster his squad in the new year. However, a new striker is now the main focus of attention after Cristiano Ronaldo’s acrimonious exit.

Zubimendi could improve his salary significantly if he does move to Old Trafford and Sociedad are concerned by that.

However, Mundo adds that the Spanish side are determined to stand firm over that exit clause.

If that is the case then it’s highly unlikely United will be willing to pay that figure, especially when Ten Hag has other areas to strengthen.

Midfield is not exactly a weakness for the Red Devils, with Casemiro and Christian Eriksen forming a strong partnership. The likes of Scott McTominay and Fred are also waiting in the wings.

As for Zubimendi, the midfielder has scored once and added two assists in 16 appearances for Sociedad this season.

He has also been capped five times by Spain but is not in their World Cup squad for Qatar.

Bellingham urged to snub United advances

Another midfielder who has been linked with a switch to Old Trafford in England star Jude Bellingham.

However, the Dortmund ace, who is also wanted by Liverpool, has been urged to snub a return to his homeland.

Everton winger Andros Townsend believes the player’s £150m price tag will make him a target to be shot down if things do not go well.

He told talkSPORT: “I’d say stay there a bit longer, because if he comes to the Premier League he will be £150m.

“Bellingham scores goals but his main quality isn’t scoring goals.

“He’ll come to the Premier League for £150m, the media, everyone is going to expect him to score goals.

“When he doesn’t do that, even when he’s playing well, they are going to be on his back.”

With the World Cup ongoing, United are not back in action until December 21 when they hist Burnley in the Carabao Cup.

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