MX23RW : Monday, July 22 19:59:33| >> :120:9091:9091:

Arsenal, Barcelona crushed as £50.7m midfielder confirms transfer stance

© Reuters
Arsenal and Barcelona-linked midfielder Martin Zubimendi rules out a summer exit from Real Sociedad, forcing his two suitors to look elsewhere.

Arsenal and Barcelona-linked midfielder Martin Zubimendi has made his feelings clear on whether he intends to seek an exit from Real Sociedad this summer.

The 25-year-old is believed to be at the centre of a heated transfer battle between the Gunners and the Blaugrana, both of whom are after reinforcements in the defensive midfield position.

Zubimendi has risen to prominence in his homeland over the past few years and now boasts eight goals and seven assists in 188 games for Sociedad, while also becoming a fully-fledged member of the Spain squad.

Zubimendi has played twice for Luis de la Fuente's side during their run to the Euro 2024 semi-finals - starting the 1-0 group-stage win over Albania - although he is behind Rodri in the national team pecking order.

Under contract at Sociedad for another three years, Zubimendi is understood to have a €60m (£50.7m) release clause in his deal with Imanol Alguacil's side, a fee that should not prove problematic for Arsenal.

Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi pictured in December 2021© Reuters

Zubimendi reveals he will stay at Real Sociedad

Despite their long-running financial problems, Barcelona would seemingly be able to afford a deal too, as president Joan Laporta has claimed that his side have the financial means to pull off a deal for Athletic Bilbao's Nico Williams, who would cost about the same.

Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are also said to have taken a liking to Zubimendi, although the German giants are instead on the verge of wrapping up a deal to sign long-term target Joao Palhinha from Fulham.

Now, Zubimendi's other suitors will seemingly be forced to concede defeat in their efforts to capture the 25-year-old, who has revealed that he plans to continue at Real Sociedad next season.

"Where am I going to play next season? I'm going to be at Real Sociedad. I have a contract with Real Sociedad and that's where I feel most comfortable," the midfielder told El Diario Vasco, via Estadio Deportivo.

Zubimendi already boasts one Copa del Rey triumph from his time at Sociedad, whom he joined at the age of 12, and both Barca and Arsenal must now move on to alternative targets.

Arsenal to move for Zubimendi teammate after rejection?

Spain's Mikel Merino celebrates scoring their second goal on July 5, 2024© Reuters

Zubimendi's recent comments means that Arsenal can cross another name off of their number six list, and Mikel Arteta could very well respond by abandoning his search for a defensive midfielder entirely.

The Gunners boss deployed Declan Rice further forward last season to brilliant effect, but the £105m Englishman could revert to a more deep-lying position if Arsenal pull off a deal for Mikel Merino.

Zubimendi's Sociedad teammate made himself a national hero by scoring Spain's extra-time winner against Germany in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals, and he is believed to be of interest to Arsenal and Arteta.

Merino previously had a brief spell in English football with Newcastle United during the 2017-18 season, but he scored just one goal and set up one more in 25 games during a disappointing spell.

ID:547795:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect5722:

Click here for more stories about Martin Zubimendi

Click here for more stories about Arsenal

Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta looks dejected on December 28, 2023
Read Next:
Arsenal 'rejected by £51.2m midfielder' in early transfer blow
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.
rhs 2.0
Today's games header
Tables header RHS
3Aston Villa00000000
5Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton00000000
7Crystal Palace00000000
10Ipswich TownIpswich00000000
11Leicester CityLeicester00000000
13Manchester CityMan City00000000
14Manchester UnitedMan Utd00000000
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle00000000
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest00000000
18Tottenham HotspurSpurs00000000
19West Ham UnitedWest Ham00000000
20Wolverhampton WanderersWolves00000000

Sports Mole provides in-depth previews and predictions for every match from the biggest leagues and competitions in world football.
Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup trophy after collecting the Golden Ball award on December 18, 2022Sign up for our FREE daily preview newsletter direct to your inbox!