Barcelona to give up on Arsenal target after further contacts

Barcelona are set to wave the white flag in their pursuit of Xavi Hernandez’s preferred candidate to take over reins from Sergio Busquets.

Already last summer, Real Sociedad Martin Zubimendi had been identified by Xavi and the recruitment department as the best candidate for the job.

However with Barcelona using their transfer kitty on other positions, the club let it be known to Zubimendi that they would go for him the following summer. According to Sport though, after Sporting Director Jordi Cruyff’s latest talks with Zubimendi’s agent, Barcelona have given up hope of landing the Basque pivot.

Part of the reason for that is the appearance of Arsenal, who were reportedly willing to to pay his €60m release clause this January, something they were only prevented from doing by the player himself, who made it clear he would be remaining in Donostia-San Sebastian for the rest of the season.

The 23-year-old is open to a move down the line though, and with Mikel Arteta using both his resources and his common traits – both came through at Real Sociedad, both are Basque – in order to persuade Zubimendi.

Even if Barcelona did not have to contend with Arsenal’s interest, some major financial shifts would have to occur in order to muster the €60m required to extract him.

Tags Arsenal Barcelona Martin Zubimendi Real Sociedad
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