Barcelona are on the lookout for a long-term replacement for club captain and legend Sergio Busquets. The midfielder, who turned 34 recently, is in the final year of his contract with the Catalans and has his heart set on an exit when his deal expires in 2023.
A move to the MLS has been touted for the veteran star and the Blaugrana need to bring in a long-term heir for him. While the club considered signing someone this summer itself, other pressing concerns in the squad were given priority.
So, a replacement for the captain could arrive in January or next summer, with Ruben Neves of Wolves being talked about as a possible option.
Now, Mundo Deportivo is reporting that Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi is another player that Barcelona are considering as a replacement for Busquets.
The 23-year-old has been a permanent fixture in the middle of the park for La Real and has made 100 appearances already, excelling for Imanol Alguacil’s side, be it playing as a single pivot midfielder or as part of a double pivot.
Barcelona have had their eyes on the Spaniard for months now and view him as the ideal replacement for Busquets, as per the report.
However, signing Zubimendi could prove tricky as he has a contract with Real Sociedad until the summer of 2025 and is protected by a release clause worth €60 million.
Furthermore, aware of the interest from Barça, the Basque club are already planning negotiations with him over a new contract, to prolong his stay and increase his release clause amount.
Barcelona will play Real Sociedad this weekend in La Liga. They will do so without Busquets as he is suspended after his sending-off against Rayo Vallecano last time out.
The Catalans will get a good look at Zubimendi as they prepare for a life without Busquets in the near future.