In a bid to strengthen their squad for the upcoming season, Arsenal is reportedly in advanced talks to sign Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi.
The 24-year-old has been an integral part of the Spanish club’s success this year, featuring in 20 La Liga matches and scoring four goals, while also providing one assist.
Having graduated from Sociedad’s academy in 2019, Zubimendi has made a total of 172 appearances for the Champions League-contending team, finding the back of the net eight times.
He has also earned four caps for Spain’s senior team since his debut in the summer of 2021, showcasing his international potential.
According to Spanish publication AS via The Mirror, Arsenal is closing in on securing Zubimendi’s signature, beating out other potential suitors. However, the deal is expected to be completed in the summer transfer window rather than in January.
Reports suggest that Zubimendi is close to reaching a pre-contract agreement with Arsenal, which would secure his future at the club until the 2024-25 campaign and beyond.
While La Liga giants Barcelona have also shown interest in the midfielder, it appears they have shifted their focus elsewhere.
If the deal goes through, Zubimendi would likely join Declan Rice in a deeper-lying midfield role for Arsenal. The Gunners splashed out £105m to sign Rice from West Ham United in the summer, bolstering their midfield options.
Despite recent struggles in attack, Arsenal showcased their scoring prowess with a commanding 5-0 victory over Crystal Palace.
While star striker Gabriel Jesus failed to find the net, he did provide an assist, and Gabriel Martinelli scored a brace in added time to seal the win.
This victory ended Arsenal’s three-game winless streak in the Premier League and propelled them to third place in the standings, trailing league leaders Liverpool by just five points.
Although Arsenal had initially considered a January move for Zubimendi, the club’s significant investments in Rice and Kai Havertz during the summer transfer window have prompted a cautious approach to spending this month.
Zubimendi has a release clause of £52m in his contract with Real Sociedad.