Arsenal learn answer after unleashing 52.7m £ exit clause for LaLiga midfielder Ten Hag wants at Man Utd

Martin Zubimendi Real Sociedad v Man Utd Credit: Alamy

Arsenal have reportedly seen an approach rejected for a classy midfielder, who Erik ten Hag also has on his list of Manchester United transfer targets.

The Gunners are desperate to add a new midfielder this month after finally landing a new forward. And following their disappointment at missing out on Mykhaylo Mudryk, Arsenal confirmed the signing of Leandro Trossard from Brighton on Friday.

Having registered seven goals and two assists from 16 Premier League games this season, Mikel Arteta has the added attacking threat he craves.

But with another crucial day looming in the title race, Arsenal want another addition to maximize their prospects. As it stands, Arteta’s side sit five points clear at the top. And with Arsenal hosting Manchester United and Man City at home to Wolves, that gap could either be reduced to two points or extended to eight depending on how results go.

After bringing in a new winger, Arteta is next looking to add another midfielder to his ranks. The likes of Youri Tielemans, Adrien Rabiot and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic have been mentioned as possible targets.

But for various reasons, it doesn’t look like that trio will sign with one of their targets salary demands leave Edu stunned.

Declan Rice has is another possible, albeit ambitious, target, although any deal would have to wait until the summer.

As a stop-gap, Real Madrid’s Eduardo Camavinga has reportedly been earmarked as a potential loan target.

In fact, reports in Spain claim that Arteta and Edu’s attention is very much on LaLiga. And one of the best midfield stars in the competition this season is now reportedly on their radar.

And the subject of their attention, per Chain creatureis Real Sociedad star Martin Zubimendi.

Arsenal move to sign Martin Zubimendi

The 23-year-old has been an absolute rock at the heart of the Basque side’s engine room this season.

The defensive midfielder has featured in 17 of Sociedad’s 18 games in LaLiga this season. And his impressive displays are a big reason why Sociedad have established themselves as title contenders alongside Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Indeed, as things stand, Imanol Alguacil’s side are just three points behind leaders Barca, having played twice more.

But their form this season has convinced many that they are realistic title contenders.

As such, it is now surprising to see Zubimendi attracting attention. And with an exit clause of £52.7m. (€60m) in his deal, he is an attractive option for plenty of big money suitors.

In fact, Zubimendi is also reportedly a big target for Manchester United. Yes, our exclusive back in November revealed Erik ten Hag is a big fan of the star and is keen to lure him to Old Trafford.

However, per Chain creature, it is Arsenal who have made the first official move. According to the report, they have contacted Sociedad to inform them of their desire to trigger Zubimendi’s exit clause.

That has given them permission to make official contact with the 23-year-old to discuss a potential move.

But according to the report, Zubimendi has left Edu and Arteta disappointed by turning down the chance to make a mid-season move.

The Gunners face strong competition

While the chance to play in the Premier League beckons him, he was unwilling to ditch Sociedad mid-season.

It also seems understandable given the player’s loyalty to the club. He was born in the city where the team plays, San Sebastian. Furthermore, he can write himself into club legend if he were to help the club win the LaLiga crown.

The club has only two LaLiga crowns in their history; the back-to-back successes they enjoyed in 1980/81 and 81/82.

And the chance to end the 41-year wait is reason enough to convince Zubimendi to stay.

That will ensure Zubimendi stays where he is for the time being.

But come summer, the one-time Spain international will find himself a man in demand again. In addition to Arsenal, there is also great interest from Barcelona. Indeed, reports in Catalonia claim he has moved ahead of Ruben Neves as Xavi’s No.1 midfield target this summer.

But the strongest interest may yet come from Manchester United. The player is reportedly seen as a major upgrade on both Scott McTominay and Fred as Ten Hag plans to further improve his Red Devils squad.

READ MORE: Arsenal keep up the pressure on January as La Liga defender talks begin amid interest from other clubs

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