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Major boost for Arsenal as European giants 'lose hope' over transfer battle with the Gunners

Major boost for Arsenal as European giants 'lose hope' over transfer battle with the Gunners

The Gunners are now frontrunners for his signature.

Arsenal have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of Martin Zubimendi following reports that Barcelona are have lost hope of signing the Real Sociedad midfielder.

Mikel Arteta confirmed he was in the market for a central midfielder in a press conference on Wednesday, with Zubimendi having been identified as a potential target.

Amid fresh injury concerns for Mohamed Elneny, Arteta told reporters: "We need some more cover in midfield, ideally, if we can.

"But this market is complicated. But as I always say, the most important thing is we get the performances and the time on the pitch with the players we already have on the pitch are really good."

And the Gunners might be in luck after reports have emerged suggesting that La Liga giants Barcelona have ruled themselves out of the race for Zubimendi.

Barcelona 'pull out of race'

Zubimendi was thought to be Xavi's priority this January, with the player having been a long-standing target of Barcelona sporting director Jordi Cruyff, report Spanish news outlet SPORT.

The Catalan club are thought to have worked hard on signing the 23-year-old, with Cruyff said to have had a good relationship with the player's agent. However, there has never been a chance to sign him.

Last summer, the club opted to strengthen other positions, reportedly eyeing June 2023 as their opportunity to pounce on Zubimendi.

But the report claims that Barca have now informed the player that they will no longer continue their pursuit, leaving Arsenal frontrunners for his signature.

Zubimendi to Arsenal?

Zubimendi is reportedly open to a move to the Premier League, with Arteta thought to be a fan of the midfielder who has been touted as 'the next Sergio Busquets' in the Spanish press.

According to The Times, Sociedad have told Arsenal that Zubimendi can only sign for the Gunners if they meet his £53million release clause.

The player only signed a two-year contract extension to keep him at Sociedad until 2027 in October, which has strengthened the Spanish club’s negotiating position.

Sociedad currently sit third in La Liga after an impressive campaign. As a result, the one-cap Spain international is in no rush to leave this January, with his side just three points adrift of Real Madrid.

However, The Daily Mail has claimed Zubimendi has his ‘heart set’ on joining Arteta’s side in the summer.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Arsenal, Barcelona, Real Sociedad, Mikel Arteta, Xavi, La Liga, Premier League, Football, Transfers