Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has held talks with Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi, according to Bild journalist Christian Falk.
Bayern Munich are keen on signing the Spanish international next summer but Falk claims that the Bundesliga champions now fear that they will lose out on the player to the Gunners:
“Mikel Arteta is already talking to the player. They’re both Spanish as well, which is a big advantage for Arsenal!”
“Bayern were very sure that they would lead the race for Zubimendi but now that Arsenal are there, they’re afraid of the Gunners and afraid that Mikel Arteta could take this player away, which had been a planned move for the summer.”
How much will Zubimendi cost?
The 24-year-old has a €60m (£51m) release clause in his contract and it is believed that Real Sociedad won’t accept an offer below this figure.
Considering the Gunners have limited financial resources this month due to FFP, it means a bid for Zubimendi will only become possible at the end of the season.
Are Arsenal looking at alternative transfer targets?
The likes of Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz and Everton’s Amadou Onana are also said to be on the London club’s radar but it’s likely that both players would cost more than Zubimendi.
There have been rumours that Villa could demand as much as £80m to £100m for Luiz, while Onana’s asking price is said to be around £55m to £60m.
From the sound of things, Bayern are still keen on beating Arsenal to Zubimendi’s signature, but it appears that a direct intervention from Arteta has given the Gunners a massive head start in the race to snap him up.