Arsenal have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Martin Zubimendi after Barcelona cooled their interest in the Real Sociedad midfielder.
Arsenal and Barcelona were each linked with a move for Zubimendi during the January transfer window, but the 24-year-old turned down transfer interest in order to focus on Sociedad’s pursuit of Champions League qualification.
The Gunners could return with renewed interest in the summer after Mikel Arteta failed to sign a midfielder during the winter window and the north Londoners have been given a boost after Barcelona turned their attentions elsewhere.
According to Mirror, Barcelona are keen for Sergio Busquets to sign a new one-year deal despite the veteran announcing his intention to leave the club this summer. Xavi is understood to be desperate to keep his former teammate at the Camp Nou and Busquets’ willingness to take a pay-cut could see the 34-year-old extend his career in Catalonia.
Barcelona are also pursuing a deal for Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat, after his role in Morocco’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar.
Barcelona’s stance has improved Arsenal’s chances of landing the one-cap Spain international this summer, who has a release clause of £53m in his contract at Sociedad. Midfield is the focus for Arteta this summer after the Gunners saw two bids turned down for Brighton’s Moises Caicedo during the January window.
Arsenal have also been credited as admirers of Declan Rice, who West Ham value in excess of the British transfer record.