Liverpool should hijack 'aggressive' Arsenal transfer move for $64m 'new Sergio Busquets'

Martín Zubimendi during the Paris Saint-Germain vs Real Sociedad UEFA Champions League first-leg tie at the Parc des Princes.
Martín Zubimendi has previously been linked with Liverpool. -Credit:Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

While Wataru Endō has had an excellent season for Liverpool and Stefan Bajčetić is now back from injury, signing a holding midfielder in the summer should not be out of the question.

Endō is 31 and Bajčetić is so young that he will need taking care of over the next few seasons after so long out, so having another option in the middle of the pitch would be the ideal scenario. There are going to be so many games next year that there will be minutes for everyone.

And with that in mind, signing a player who has previously been linked with Liverpool could make a lot of sense, even with Arsenal being strongly linked with a move. La Liga side Real Sociedad has been one of the emerging bright sparks from Europe this season, having reached the Champions League round of 16, and much of its success has been down to Martín Zubimendi.

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It was reported by Football Transfers in February that Liverpool could be planning to challenge both Barcelona and Arsenal for his signature when the season came to a close. Now, Sport reports that Barcelona is concerned it will miss out because Arsenal has already begun negotiations with an 'aggressive' transfer pursuit.

Zubimendi has a $64m (£51m/€60m) release clause and Barcelona sees him as a possible successor for Sergio Busquets. But after recent release clause signings for Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, Liverpool should look to continue that trend.

Zubimendi is consistently calm under pressure in central areas, demonstrating a high level of decision-making. One of the best aspects of his game is his ability to play direct passes into dangerous areas. The 25-year-old would help maintain control in difficult games while contributing to attacks with balls into the likes of Darwin Núñez and Mohamed Salah.

Thiago Alcântara will be moving on and Zubimendi could be a replacement. The decision to allow the decorated Spaniard to leave as a free agent is an understandable one, with his latest setback indicating that he has reached the point of his career where injuries will be an ever-more recurring theme.

That means a move for Zubimendi, who is on the brink of his prime years, would be an astute one — particularly when he could potentially join the club to be managed by a head coach in Arne Slot who suits his style. Liverpool needs to make sure it has enough quality in the center of the pitch ahead of next season and Zubimendi could be the ideal fit.

An original version of this story was first published on February 11. It has since been updated.