Barcelona manager Xavi has long been an admirer of Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi. Many believed that the midfielder would finally switch clubs this summer, but a move has not panned out.
Romano reveals why Barcelona failed to sign Zubimendi this summer
Discussing the curious case of Zubimendi, industry insider Fabrizio Romano claimed that there was one reason why the 24-year-old did not move, and that was his love for Sociedad. The Italian journalist said Zubimendi wanted to play in the UEFA Champions League this season, but only for Sociedad.
Writing for Caught Offside, Romano revealed:
“I’ve had some fans ask me about what happened after links with Martin Zubimendi earlier in the summer. Honestly, it’s very simple: Zubimendi loves Real Sociedad and he wanted to play Champions League football at Real Sociedad.
“He wasn’t attracted by any other possibility. So there were no concrete negotiations. Barca boss Xavi has been a big fan since a long time but Zubimendi always wanted to stay, so there was nothing on this summer.”
Zubimendi also has admirers in the English Premier League
Barcelona boss Xavi’s admiration for Zubimendi is pretty well-documented. But the Catalan manager is not the only one who values the Spaniard. According to reports, Arsenal have also been keeping tabs on Zubimendi for a while. They ultimately did not make an official bid for Zubimendi this summer and signed Declan Rice from West Ham United instead.
Having already splurged a massive $126.89 million on a defensive midfielder, Arsenal might refrain from spending big bucks on a player of similar profile any time soon. Jorginho or Thomas Partey’s departure, however, could compel them to reconsider their stance.
Spain international Zubimendi is one of the best players in La Liga in his position. He is an excellent passer, reads the game well, knows how to take the ball off attackers, and can pop up with an odd goal or two from time to time. The academy graduate has thus far played 146 matches for Sociedad across competitions, scoring four times and providing six assists. Zubimendi, whose contract expires in June 2027, is currently valued at $43.53 million (via Transfermarkt).