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Arsenal Eye Player Barcelona Were Keen On

Arsenal Lead Race for Zubimendi as Barcelona Interest Cools

Arsenal have emerged as frontrunners to sign Real Sociedad’s Mikel Zubimendi, according to Sport (via Fichajes). This news comes as Barcelona appears to be backing out of the race due to Zubimendi’s €60 million release clause.

The 25-year-old Spanish midfielder is a desired target for Mikel Arteta, who is looking to bolster his central midfield options. Zubimendi’s potential arrival could also impact Declan Rice’s role next season.

Ideal Replacement for Partey?

The report suggests Zubimendi is seen as an ideal replacement for Thomas Partey, who could potentially leave the club in the summer. 

Data analysts SciSports believe Zubimendi would integrate well into Arsenal’s midfield rotation, potentially becoming their second-strongest defensive midfielder behind Rice.

While his SciSkill score (based on in-game data) falls below players like Martin Odegaard and Jorginho, Zubimendi excels in positioning both offensively and defensively. SciSports data also ranks him among the top third of La Liga midfielders in this area.

Zubimendi’s contract with Real Sociedad runs until 2027, with his estimated transfer value at €42.7 million. However, Arsenal may have to pay his full release clause to secure his signature.