Arsenal make £52m January transfer decision after Thomas Partey injury blow amid Bayern interest


Arsenal have been tracking Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi ahead of the January transfer window, understands. The Spain international was of interest to the Gunners and Barcelona in the summer but he ultimately made the decision to remain at Sociedad.

The 24-year-old has made 17 appearances in all competitions in the 2023/24 season with a superb Champions League display against Benfica on Wednesday evening where Sociedad won 3-1. In late 2022, Zubimendi signed a new contract which saw his time at the club extended to 2027 with that including a €60million (£52.3m) release clause.

Alongside their pursuit of Declan Rice, Mikel Arteta and Edu were interested in acquiring another midfielder with the north Londoners ultimately signing Kai Havertz from Premier League rivals Chelsea. The Germany international was used in attack by Arsenal's London rivals, however Arteta firmly believes he is better suited to a role in his midfield three.

Havertz has struggled to justify his £65million price tag in his first few months at Emirates Stadium and a Thomas Partey injury blow makes signing a new midfielder very important. understands Partey has undergone a "procedure" after missing the last few weeks with a thigh injury.

A groin problem saw the 30-year-old miss the bulk of September with a fresh injury emerging prior to the Champions League trip to Sevilla. Now, Partey is expected to miss the remainder of the year, also throwing into doubt his participation for Ghana at AFCON in January 2024.

Zubimendi joining the Gunners in January is certainly possible, although a move to Barcelona may have already been ruled out by the man himself. When asked if he could potentially replace Sergio Busquets at the Camp Nou, he told El Diario Vasco: "Inheriting Asier Illarramendi's No.4 motivates me more than Sergio Busquets' No.5."

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However it might not be the threat of Barcelona that worries Arsenal but instead the interest from German giants Bayern Munich. According to Sportbild, the Bavarians are in the market for a defensive midfielder with Zubimendi as the latest name to appear on their list.

If the Gunners pursue Zubimendi they could well take confidence in the fact that Jurrien Timber and Rice were wanted at the Allianz Arena, with both opting to sign for Arsenal instead. However, Bayern have since signed Harry Kane which has certainly increased their chances of winning the Champions League. Arsenal WhatsApp channel

Mikel Arteta celebrates Arsenal's recent Premier League victory over Manchester City

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