FC Barcelona are actively searching for a new defensive midfielder as they brace themselves for life without Sergio Busquets.
Their search for a new number six has led them to various talented players across Europe including Ruben Neves and N’Golo Kante. Jorginho has emerged as the latest player to be linked with a move to Camp Nou.
However, according to Diario SPORT, Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has identified one player who he believes has what it takes to replace Busquets in the coming years.
The player in question is Martin Zubimendi, who currently plies his trade with Real Sociedad. The Spanish international has been linked with a move to Barça in the past and it appears the club are still in contention to sign the midfielder in the near future.
However, within the Barcelona camp, there is also a sense of pessimism over the pursuit of Zubimendi. The club are aware of the potential difficulties they may face negotiating with Real Sociedad. Not to mention, the player has a long-term contract that does not expire until 2027.
But it is worth noting that Zubimendi’s release clause of €60 million has not changed despite the player extending his contract at Camp Nou.
Barcelona believe this is ‘no coincidence’. They have also not ruled out that they had held talks with Zubimendi’s environment in the past, over a potential switch to Camp Nou. It would, therefore, not come as a surprise to see the Catalans re-ignite their interest in the player.
Whether or not the club are in a position to afford Zubimendi, though, remains to be seen, knowing the player is unlikely to cost under the €50 million mark.