Xavi Hernandez has made a decision on the replacement of Sergio Busquets next season, with the legend set to leave.
Plans are already in motion at Barcelona to replace Sergio Busquets before the start of the upcoming season, as the captain is entering the final year of his contract.
As a result, various names have been connected to a move to Spotify Camp Nou over the past few weeks. Among the players reported as potential targets for the Blaugrana are Ruben Neves, Jorginho, and N’Golo Kante.
But according to MARCA, manager Xavi Hernandez still favors Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi and wants Barcelona to sign the Spaniard.
Under Imanol Alguacil, the 23-year-old has gained strength over the past few years and has become one of La Liga’s most dependable defensive midfielders.
According to the rumor, Barcelona manager Xavi is a fan of the Spaniard and will encourage the team to sign Zubimendi.
The issue for the Blaugrana is that Real Sociedad will cite to the midfielder’s €60 million release clause in his contract as justification for refusing to negotiate a cheaper price for their prized asset.
There have been rumors that Barcelona wants to fill the pivot position with a reinforcement in the January transfer window. However, they won’t be able to sign Zubimendi over the winter because they don’t currently have enough room on the pay bill to do so.
As a result, it will probably be a summer operation, at which point Busquets’ anticipated departure would make room on the payroll for a new hire. Even so, if Barça wants to sign the 23-year-old, they’ll need to find a way to pay Real Sociedad’s asking price.
Neves might be a good option even though Barcelona’s coaching staff does not view him as a pivot midfielder.
The club enjoys solid ties with Jorge Mendes, the Portuguese star’s agent, who has been presenting him to them for some time.
It appears that Xavi still prefers Zubimendi, but the transaction will be challenging because of the release clause.