Barcelona manager Xavi is allegedly interested in signing Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi as a substitute for Sergio Busquets.
Last week, it was confirmed that Busquets’ 15-year professional tenure at Camp Nou will come to an end when his contract expired at the end of the season.
Barcelona have been connected with a slew of midfielders as they look for the heir to club veteran Sergio Busquets, with Zubimendi thought to be high on their list of summer targets.
The Catalan giants are ‘desperate’ to bring Zubimendi to Camp Nou this summer, according to writer Sique Rodriguez, via Barca Universal.
According to the source, Xavi is desperate to sign the 24-year-old defensive midfielder, despite the fact that Barcelona may struggle to raise finances due to their well-documented financial woes.
Zubimendi’s Sociedad contract now includes a €60 million (£52.9 million) release clause that runs until the summer of 2027.
Xavi has called Zubimendi a “great player,” but when asked about Barcelona’s rumoured interest in the Spaniard earlier this year, he remained tight-lipped.
Speaking ahead of Barcelona’s 1-0 Copa del Rey win over Real Sociedad in January, Xavi said:
“He is more physical and faster than Busi (Busquets), who is better technically, but it’s not just Zubimendi, it’s all the players in midfield.
“We have a great team visiting us. Zubimendi is a great player, [but] I don’t like to talk about players under contract with other teams.”
Arsenal have also been connected with Zubimendi, however the one-cap Spain international recently brushed off speculations of a move away from the Reale Arena.
Zubimendi has spent his entire senior career at Real Sociedad, making 139 games in all competitions since his debut in 2016.
The Spanish lynchpin has improved dramatically under manager Imanol Alguacil’s supervision and has been a first-team regular this season, appearing in 40 games across La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the Europa League.
Barca’s pursuit of Zubimendi will likely be contingent on their ability to create the £177 million required to balance their books, with a recent report saying that they are willing sell Ansu Fati, Ferran Torres, Jordi Alba, and Franck Kessie this summer.
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