Barcelona director makes contact with €60 million midfielder’s camp over a summer move, as a possible replacement of Sergio Busquets.
As Barcelona searches the market for a new defensive midfielder to take Sergio Busquets’ place as club captain in the near future, Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi has emerged as the leading contender.
The 23-year-old appears to be the man that manager Xavi Hernandez wants to succeed Busquets as the pivot midfielder going forward.
Additionally, Jordi Cruyff, the director of Barcelona, reportedly “intensified contacts” with Zubimendi’s representatives in order to investigate the possibility of a transfer to Spotify Camp Nou.
Real Sociedad’s midfielder is reportedly Xavi’s top choice for the position despite Barça considering a number of other candidates due to his technical ability, positional play, and youth.
Within the Blaugrana camp, there is no question about Zubimendi’s potential or quality, but some have reservations about the financial commitment required to sign him, with some considering it a risk.
The 23-year-old has a sizable €60 million release clause built into his contract with La Real, who have a history of being tough negotiators and are unlikely to budge from that valuation.
Even so, Xavi is determined to sign Zubimendi. The midfielder’s camp has previously been contacted by Barcelona, and more recently, Jordi Cruyff is said to have increased communication with the young Spaniard’s representatives.
It is said that the Barça sporting director gets along well with Inaki Ibanez, who represented Cruyff when he was a player, and is the agent of Zubimendi.
Ibanez has worked with the Catalan powerhouses on a number of deals, including the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January of last year.
Zubimendi signed a new contract with Real Sociedad recently, extending his stay at the club until 2027. However, his release clause value remained intact at €60 million, which Barça see as a positive.
The Blaugrana wish to negotiate cordially with Sociedad over a deal either in January or in the summer as they want to carry out a smooth operation.
With talks intensifying with Zubimendi’s camp, it will be interesting to see if it leads to anything substantial or whether Barcelona are forced to look at other options to reinforce the holding midfield position.