Spanish journalist Eugenio Mateo Serrano claims that whilst FC Barcelona want to sign Martin Zubimendi this summer, Arsenal are the current favourites to sign the midfielder.
“Xavi needs another player instead of Busquets,” Serrano said (via Sport Witness). “The number one pick is Martin Zubimendi, from Real Sociedad.
“But it’s also difficult because Zubimendi wants to play in the Premier League, and for me, Arsenal are in pole position.”
In January, reports emerged that Arsenal were interested in signing Zubimendi, and willing to pay his release clause. But despite the Gunners holding talks with his agents in London, the player didn’t want to leave Sociedad in the winter window.
Cadena SER then claimed that Zubimendi was only turning down the Arsenal move temporarily, and he’d be interested to join in the summer.
The player would reportedly prefer a move to the Premier League over joining a La Liga club like Barcelona, and his €60m (£53m) release clause is viewed as affordable by Arsenal.
With Real Sociedad sitting third in La Liga, Zubimendi wanted to stick it out until the end of the current campaign.
His decision not to join Arsenal isn’t because he doesn’t want to play for the club, nor because he prefers Barcelona. He was simply showing loyalty to his current side.