Arsenal ‘go to war’ with La Liga giants Barcelona over €60m Caicedo alternative
Premier League side Arsenal are the ‘favourites’ to sign Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi, according to reports.
The Gunners are on the lookout for a new midfielder ahead of the January transfer window slamming shut on Tuesday evening with a number of players linked to the north London club.
Widespread reports yesterday claimed that Arsenal had a £60m bid turned down by Brighton for Moises Caicedo with the Seagulls putting him on leave until after the transfer window.
Caicedo has made it clear he wants to leave the Amex Stadium in the winter window but Brighton have reportedly now made direct contact with Arsenal to tell them that he’s not for sale.
And that means that Arsenal could potentially be forced to switch targets with Spanish publication Nacional insisting that the Gunners have now decided to ‘go to war’ with Barcelona over Sociedad’s Zubimendi.
Mikel Arteta is continuing to put together a ‘very ambitious project’ at Arsenal and will ‘grant him’ his wish to sign Zubimendi with midfield needing to be ‘strengthened most urgently’.
Arteta views the Spain international – who has a €60m release clause in his contract – as a ‘magnificent operation’ as he is ‘the brain’ of Real Sociedad’s team with Imanol Alguacil’s side currently sitting third in La Liga.
Sociedad have ‘no intention’ of allowing Zubimendi to leave but Arsenal wouldn’t have ‘any kind of problem’ paying the midfielder’s release clause.
The Gunners will apparently face fierce competition from Barcelona after Xavi put him on his ‘list of priorities’ with the Catalan giants hoping to find a player who can replace Sergio Busquets long term.
Nacional adds that Arsenal have ‘all the advantage’ in the race and that the Premier League club are the ‘main favorites’ for the signing.
However. another report from Spain a week ago claimed that Zubimendi has already ‘rejected’ Arsenal with the Spaniard ‘committed’ to his boyhood club.
Arsenal have already completed the signings of Leandro Trossard from Brighton and Jakub Kiwior from Spezia this month and Arteta revealed how pleased he was with the former on Friday night.
On Trossard’s first start for Arsenal in their 1-0 loss to Manchester City in the FA Cup, Arteta told the club’s official website: “He looked a threat, every time he’s in and around the box, he really makes it look like something is going to happen and I’m pleased with his performance.”
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