Arsenal 'close to triggering £51m release clause' of Real Sociedad star Martin Zubimendi
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Arsenal are reportedly close to triggering the release clause of Real Sociedad star Martin Zubimendi, according to reports.
The Gunners were heavily linked with a move for the midfielder, likened to Sergio Busquets by Spanish media, as competition for Thomas Partey.
But the move didn't happen, and Zubimendi once again slammed the door shut on transfer rumours shortly after the summer window opened in June.
But with doubts over the future of Partey amid reported interest from Juventus and his own increasingly worrying injury history, the Gunners are still eyeing a new midfielder to add to their squad.
And a new report claims they could convince 24-year-old Zubimendi to move to the Emirates Stadium this time around.
Arsenal 'close to triggering Martin Zubimendi release clause'
The deep-lying midfielder played a key role in helping Sociedad qualify for the Champions League for this season, and has started this campaign strongly. He scored in the 5-3 win over Granada.
A combative player, Zubimendi picked up 12 yellow cards last season in La Liga, and would add another edge to Mikel Arteta's midfield.
Nacional claim that the Gunners are pursuing his signature in January, meaning they could move on Thomas Partey during the same window.
Juventus are reportedly keen on signing the Ghana international, who is currently out of action with a groin problem.
Speaking in October 2022 in an interview with The Guardian's Sid Lowe, Zubimendi gave Arsenal supporters an insight into his playstyle - and the Busquets comparisons.
He explained: "Us pivotes (pivot midfielders) have the bad luck that maybe we don't get recognised, but if you understand football you know Busquets' value.
"We've normalised him playing well so much we don't always appreciate him. He's set the bar so high that pivots are asked to do things we weren't before. But that's nice: you have to aspire to that."