Arsenal have been snubbed by Martin Zubimendi – and Barcelona boss Xavi has hailed the Real Sociedad star as a ‘great player’.

The Gunner are in the market for a new midfielder ahead of the transfer deadline after an injury to Mohamed Elneny.

Everton’s Amadou Onana and Juventus ace Weston McKennie are just two names being linked with a move to North London.

Yet it appears that Arsenal have already failed with a move to sign one midfielder.

The Daily Mail report that Arsenal have held talks over a move to sign Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi.

It’s stated that Arsenal were willing to pay Zubimendi’s huge £52.5million release clause in full ahead of next week’s transfer deadline.

Zubimendi said no though, as he doesn’t want to ditch boyhood club Real Sociedad whilst they have a chance to qualify for the Champions League.

Zubimendi may well leave in the summer, and Arsenal could reignite their interest then, but he won’t be heading for North London now.

Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Xavi hails Arsenal target Martin Zubimendi

Arsenal aren’t the only club linked with Zubimendi of late.

Barcelona have also been touted as a potential destination for Zubimendi as they chase a long-term successor to Sergio Busquets.

Zubimendi is seen as the ideal profile thanks to his defensive awareness in front of the back four and his passing ability.

The 23-year-old was born in San Sebastian and has been with Sociedad since 2011, rising through the ranks to become a first-team star.

Now one of the top midfielders in Spain, Zubimendi has played 120 times for Sociedad’s first team and has one cap for Spain.

Arsenal may well anticipate competition from Barcelona this summer and comments from boss Xavi won’t calm down those feelings.

Xavi has talked up the idea of Zubimendi replacing Busquets, noting to Barca Universal that the Sociedad star is ‘more physical and faster’ than Busquets.

Xavi thinks Zubimendi isn’t quite at the level of Busquets technically, but thinks he is a ‘great player’ – meaning Mikel Arteta may well face a fight with his old club this summer.

In other news, ‘He could do it’: Allardyce suggests 51-year-old could well be Everton’s next manager