Arsenal are closing in on the signing Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi in the summer transfer window as Mikel Arteta looks to strengthen the squad for next season, according to Diario AS.
The Spanish news outlet claims that the 24-year-old is close to agreeing to join the Gunners at the end of the season after Barcelona pulled out of the race for his signature.
The North Londoners were first linked with a move for the Spanish midfielder in the January transfer window, however, he did not want to leave the La Liga outfit in the middle of the season. It seems Arteta will finally get his man this summer.
Failure to bring Zubimendi to the Emirates Stadium in January saw the club sign Jorginho from Chelsea as a replacement for Egypt international Mohamed Elneny – who has been ruled out for several months due to a knee injury.
The Italy midfielder has not featured regularly for Arteta’s side and it’s believed that he is not a long-term solution to the club’s midfield issues, therefore Arsenal are in the market for midfield reinforcements.
Prior to sealing a deal for Jorginho, Arsenal had two bids worth up to £70m for Moises Caicedo rejected by Brighton as the Seagulls did not want to sell the midfielder in January.
Arsenal’s top transfer priority is reportedly West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, however, it seems Zubimendi could become Arteta’s first summer signing.
According to Spanish outlet Diario AS, Arsenal have been given the green light to sign Zubimendi as Barcelona have turned their attention to signing Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat instead. The Spain international wants to play under Arteta next season following the attractive brand of football being displayed at Emirates Stadium.
Further reports from Spain claim that Arsenal are willing to pay Zubimendi’s £52m [€60m] release clause, so he could be seen as a cheaper alternative to the likes of Rice and Caicedo.
Since rising through the youth ranks to the first team of Real Sociedad, Zubimendi has racked up 138 appearances across all competitions, scored four goals, and provided five assists in the process.
This season, he has been ever-present for Sociedad as they lie fourth in the league table with 61 points, seven points behind third-placed Real Madrid. He has made four goal contributions in 31 games for Sociedad.