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Xavi will push Barcelona to sign €60 million La Liga midfielder to replace Busquets

With Sergio Busquets in the final year of his contract at Barcelona, plans are already underway at the club to replace the captain ahead of the next season.

Over the past few weeks, there have been numerous names linked with a move to Spotify Camp Nou as a result. Ruben Neves, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante are some of the players to have been mentioned as targets for the Blaugrana.

But according to MARCA, Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi remains the favourite option for manager Xavi Hernandez, who wants Barcelona to sign the Spaniard.

The 23-year-old has grown in stature over the past couple of years under Imanol Alguacil and has emerged as one of the most reliable defensive midfielders in La Liga.

Barcelona boss Xavi is believed to be an admirer of the Spaniard and as per the report, he will push the club to sign Zubimendi.

The problem for the Blaugrana is that the midfielder has a release clause worth €60 million in his contract with Real Sociedad, which the Basque club will point towards as they are unlikely to negotiate a lower fee for their prized asset.

There have been talks about Barcelona wanting to sign a reinforcement in the pivot position in the January window. But, they will be in no position to land Zubimendi during the winter as they do not have enough space on the wage bill to accommodate his signing at the moment.

So, it will most likely be a summer operation at which point, Busquets’ potential exit would free up space on the salary bill for a new arrival. Even then, Barça will need to find ways to meet Real Sociedad’s asking price if they wish to sign the 23-year-old.

Neves could be a viable alternative, although he is not seen as a pivot midfielder by the Barcelona staff. The club have good relations with his agent, Jorge Mendes, who has been offering the Portuguese star to them for a while now.

What seems to be clear is that Xavi’s preference continues to be Zubimendi but the operation will be complicated due to the release clause.

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