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Arsenal make decision on €60m Martin Zubimendi move

Arsenal make decision on €60m Martin Zubimendi move
Arsenal make decision on €60m Martin Zubimendi move

Arsenal’s hopes of signing Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi have been dashed, as the Spanish international has reportedly set his sights on a move to either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

The Gunners were prepared to meet Zubimendi’s €60 million release clause but have been forced to withdraw their interest due to the player’s preference for a move within La Liga.

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN: Martin Zubimendi of Real Sociedad passes the ball whilst under pressure from Warren Zaire-Emery of Paris Saint-Germain during the UEFA Champions League 2023/24 round of 16 second leg match between Real Sociedad and Paris Saint-Germain at Reale Arena on March 05, 2024. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN: Martin Zubimendi of Real Sociedad passes the ball whilst under pressure from Warren Zaire-Emery of Paris Saint-Germain during the UEFA Champions League 2023/24 round of 16 second leg match between Real Sociedad and Paris Saint-Germain at Reale Arena on March 05, 2024. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Arsenal has reportedly withdrawn from the race to sign Real Sociedad midfielder Martín Zubimendi, citing the player’s desire to join either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

The Gunners had identified Zubimendi as a key target to strengthen their midfield, reportedly willing to activate his €60 million release clause. However, the 25-year-old Spaniard has made it clear that his preference lies with the two La Liga giants, leading Arsenal to abandon their pursuit.

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal‘s manager, had been keen on securing Zubimendi‘s services as a reliable partner for Declan Rice in the heart of midfield. The player’s consistent performances and impressive displays for Real Sociedad had caught the eye of several top clubs, but his desire to remain in Spain has ultimately proved to be a stumbling block for Arsenal.

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - MARCH 13: Martin Zubimendi of Real Sociedad celebrates scoring their side's first goal during the LaLiga Santander match between Real Sociedad and Deportivo Alaves at Reale Arena on March 13, 2022 in San Sebastian, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN – MARCH 13: Martin Zubimendi of Real Sociedad celebrates scoring their side’s first goal during the LaLiga Santander match between Real Sociedad and Deportivo Alaves at Reale Arena on March 13, 2022 in San Sebastian, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Real Sociedad manager Imanol Alguacil remains optimistic about keeping Zubimendi at the club for at least another season, while the player himself awaits potential offers from Barcelona or Real Madrid. However, the Catalan club’s financial difficulties could hinder any potential move, leaving Real Madrid as the most likely destination should Zubimendi decide to leave San Sebastian.

Arsenal‘s decision to pull out of the deal is being touted as a ‘setback’ for their summer transfer plans, but the club is expected to quickly turn its attention to alternative targets, of which there are many if press reports are to be believed.