Arsenal target told agents ‘he didn’t want to hear’ from Gunners

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Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi has revealed he told his agents he “didn’t want to hear anything” about a potential transfer to Arsenal or Barcelona in the January window. The talented 24-year-old maestro insists he is happy in the Basque Country and was adamant he did not want speculation over his future to disrupt his excellent season with the Erreala.

Zubimendi signed a new two-year contract extension with Real Sociedad in October and is seemingly prepared to stay with the club for the long-term due to guarantees over playing time.

Arsenal had looked into signing the player in January before deciding to push ahead with a transfer deadline day move for Jorginho.

However, the Gunners were already facing potential obstacles to sign Zubimendi as his new contract contains a release clause worth in the region of £52.5million.

The Premier League leaders were never prepared to pay that kind of money for the Spain international, who has been one of the best midfielders in La Liga this season.

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Nonetheless, it appears he wouldn’t have entertained a move to Arsenal or Barcelona, who were also interested, anyway.

He told SPORT: “Rumours, rumours, because I told my representative that I didn’t want to hear anything, especially in winter.

“Leaving Real Sociedad aside with the season we are doing would be illogical. I’m very happy here.”

According to Fabrizio Romano, the player was also quoted saying that he expects another calm summer, seemingly providing Real Sociedad fans with assurances over his future.

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Nonetheless, it appears Arsenal have already moved on from the player with the signing of Jorginho and if they are to launch a move for another midfielder this summer, Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo are the names of interest.

Despite being dumped out of the Europa League by Jose Mourinho’s Roma, Real Sociedad are still on course to qualify for the Champions League via a fourth-place finish in La Liga.

Imanol Alguacil’s side are currently fourth and three points clear of Real Betis, who are also having a fine season under former Manchester City and West Ham boss Manuel Pelligrini.

While Zubimendi has tried to block out the noise from further afield, he is appreciative of comparisons to Sergio Busquets although he does not believe he is worthy of such claims.

“When comparing myself to Busquets, anyone would lose out,” he added. “We share a position, but at the same time we are very different. Busquets is the best at what he does. In my own way I will try to make my way, the comparisons may be there but I do not focus on them.

“I am happy that players of the stature of Busquets pay attention to players like me. He has been a reference, he is the one who knows the most. That he talks about me makes me very happy.”

Xavi also described Zubimendi as a “great player” something that was also well received by the Real Sociedad technician.

“That people like Xavi, who have won everything, who are one of those who know the most, talk about me is already a reason to be happy,” he said of Xavi’s comments.

“Beyond that, it would be illogical not to think about anything other than Real Sociedad, we are having a great season and I am very happy.”

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