Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has big plans for the summer transfer window as he aims to cement his team’s spot at the top of the Premier League.

As we have consistently reported, one of the Gunners’ priorities is to bring in a new midfielder who can play in a deeper role alongside Declan Rice.

They have a number of exciting targets on their shortlist but one player Arteta is known to be a big admirer of is Real Sociedad star Martin Zubimendi.

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The 25-year-old is considered to be one of the best defensive midfielders in LaLiga. He’s made 45 appearances in all competitions for Sociedad this term, scoring four goals in the process.

However, Arsenal aren’t the only club interested in his signature, with reports from Spain claiming that Bayern Munich and Barcelona cannot be ruled out of the race.

Zubimendi has a £51m release clause in his contract which Sociedad are demanding in full, so he certainly won’t be a cheap addition for any of his suitors.

Arsenal ‘clear favourites’ in Martin Zubimendi race
A fresh report from Sport claims that Barcelona‘s sporting director Deco met with Gudmundsson’s agent on Monday to discuss a potential deal.

He informed Deco, however, that the only way to sign the Genoa star would be to pay his release clause, which makes a deal difficult for the Catalans due to their ongoing financial issues.

Therefore, it would ‘make more sense’ for Zubimendi to join Arsenal or Bayern as they have ‘room to manoeuvre’ for his signing, per the report.

Last summer, Zubimendi snubbed a move to the Emirates as he wanted to play in the Champions League with Sociedad – something that won’t be possible next season.

It’s claimed that the Spaniard is ‘seduced by the Premier League’ and this gives Mikel Arteta’s side an ‘advantage’ in the race

There have also been rumours that Bayern are not willing to match his £51m price tag, so Arsenal are the clear favourites to sign Zubimendi at this stage.

With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if the Gunners do trigger Zubimendi’s release clause in the coming weeks.

Thomas Partey may well be sold by Arsenal this summer, so he could prove to be the perfect replacement for him.

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