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Did Zubimendi rejection pave the way for Arsenal’s Guimaraes pursuit?

Did Zubimendi rejection pave the way for Arsenal’s Guimaraes pursuit?
Did Zubimendi rejection pave the way for Arsenal’s Guimaraes pursuit?

Arsenal’s summer transfer plans have reportedly taken an unexpected turn following Martin Zubimendi’s decision to prioritise a move to either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

This has fuelled speculation that the Gunners have shifted their focus to Newcastle United’s Bruno Guimaraes, with the clock ticking on his £100 million release clause.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Newcastle United player Bruno Guimaraes applauds the fans after the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St. James Park on April 13, 2024 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Arsenal‘s recent withdrawal from the race for Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi has fuelled speculation that the Gunners have shifted their focus to Newcastle United‘s Bruno Guimaraes.

Zubimendi, a reported key target for Arsenal, made his preference for remaining in Spain clear, prompting the London club to abandon their pursuit. This has led to speculation that the Gunners are now prioritising the acquisition of Guimaraes, a player they have been linked with for several months.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 20: Martin Zubimendi of Real Sociedad looks on during the LaLiga Santander match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Spotify Camp Nou on May 20, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

The Brazilian midfielder, who has a £100 million release clause that expires on June 30, has been instrumental in Newcastle‘s midfield. His technical ability, versatility, and leadership qualities make him an attractive prospect for Mikel Arteta, who is looking to strengthen his midfield options.

However, Arsenal faces a race against time to trigger Guimaraes‘ release clause. The club’s recent financial losses also raise questions about their ability to meet Newcastle‘s demands, and they face competition from Manchester City, who are also reportedly interested in the midfielder.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Newcastle player Bruno Guimaraes reacts after the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on November 04, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 04: Newcastle player Bruno Guimaraes reacts after the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on November 04, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Despite the challenges, there are reasons to believe Arsenal could be successful in their pursuit. Reports suggest that positive conversations have taken place between the Gunners and Guimaraes‘ representatives, and the player himself is said to be open to a move to the Emirates Stadium.

Additionally, Arsenal could raise funds by selling several fringe players, including Eddie Nketiah, Emile Smith Rowe, and others. While completing a large-scale clear-out before the deadline seems unlikely, it could provide the necessary financial boost to secure Guimaraes‘ signature.

The coming weeks will be crucial in determining whether Arsenal can pull off this ambitious transfer. If they can act decisively and meet Newcastle‘s demands before the June 30 deadline, they could secure a midfield maestro who could transform their team. However, failure to do so could leave them scrambling for alternatives.

The Zubimendi snub may have been a disappointment for Arsenal, but it could prove to be a blessing in disguise if it leads them to Guimaraes. The Brazilian’s arrival would undoubtedly be a major coup for the Gunners and signal their intent to challenge for top honours next season.