man-utd-set-to-bid-e60m-for-spain-international,-he’s-the-next-sergio-busquets

Manchester United are reportedly preparing an attempt to sign Spain international Martin Zubimendi.

The 23-year-old midfielder has attracted interest from both United and Catalan giants Barcelona after a series of impressive performances for Real Sociedad.

Zubimendi is under contract with the Basque club until 2027 after recently penning a two-year extension.

But his current deal includes a €60m (£51.5m) release clause, according to Spanish publication AS, as reported by Sport Witness.

United are said to be willing to pay the release clause but are yet to make contact with Sociedad.

However, the Red Devils could face competition to sign the midfielder, who made his international debut for Spain in a friendly against Lithuania last year.

Barcelona also interested in Zubimendi

According to Marca, Barcelona see Zubimendi as the ideal replacement for veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

Busquets has been strongly linked with a summer move to the MLS, leaving Barcelona potentially in need of midfield reinforcements.

Zubimendi has refused to comment on the speculation linking him with a move to the Nou Camp, saying in October: “I am not worried about Barcelona right now. I have to be focused on what is coming, which is a lot and very hard.”

Zubimendi on Alonso comparisons

Before their respective spells at Real Sociedad, both midfielders played at local club Antiguoko.

When the Guardian’s Sid Lowe asked Zubimendi about the Alonso comparisons, the player said: “He’s an idol, a role model, so I’m delighted that he says nice things about me.

“Thing is, I think it’s the other way round. I get asked about him so much he must get bored of hearing me talk about him. He’ll be tired of me going on about how good he is.”