Arsenal have clear run at £52m 'next Sergio Busquets' as Barcelona stray from transfer


Arsenal have been given a major boost in their bid to sign Martin Zubimendi from Real Sociedad in 2024 as Barcelona have reportedly strayed away from the deal. The Catalonians had initially been keen on bringing in the Spaniard during the January transfer window with Xavi said to be a keen admirer of the player.

As per Fabrizio Romano, Barca's boss sees Zubimendi as' the next Sergio Busquets'. However, Mundo Deportivo claims he won't be heading to the Nou Camp in the New Year as the La Liga giants are considering bringing in a different type of midfielder to boost their output in the centre of the park.

The report goes on to add that Real Madrid ace Aurelien Tchouameni, Bruno Guimaraes of Newcastle United, Everton's Amadou Onana and Monaco star Youssouf Fofana are among the names Barca are looking at in the winter.

Barcelona's withdrawal from the race for Zubimendi's signature clears the path for Arsenal, who need another defensive midfielder due to Thomas Partey's absence through injury. 

Partey has missed the majority of the 2023/2024 campaign with groin and hamstring issues - and is expected to be out of action for a little while longer. Asked about when the Ghanaian international will be back playing again during a recent press conference, Mikel Arteta said: "We don’t know.

"He’s getting a very good evolution in the injury, but it’s a bit early for the time frame. That would be incredibly fast if he’s able to do that. We’re going to have to wait. We are quite short, with five key, key players not being available for us now for a period of time. But we have to continue."

The 24-year-old has always wanted to stay put due to his love of his boyhood club but the allure of a money-spinning contract with a giant of world football may be too much to turn down as he approaches his prime years.

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