Mikel Arteta engages in private discussions with Arsenal’s potential transfer target amid Barcelona interest – nextfootballnews
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Mikel Arteta engages in private discussions with Arsenal’s potential transfer target amid Barcelona interest



Arsenal is seeking to strengthen their midfield this summer, and manager Mikel Arteta has taken it upon himself to attempt to persuade Real Sociedad’s Mikel Merino to join.

Arsenal’s pursuit of Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino has been reputedly spearheaded by Mikel Arteta in an effort to beat Barcelona to his signature.

The Gunners are seeking to expand their midfield options following the termination of Mohamed Elneny’s contract. Thomas Partey’s long-term future is also uncertain, and sporting director Edu and manager Arteta are eager to conclude their business promptly.

Merino and his La Real teammate Martin Zubimendi have emerged as Arsenal’s primary targets since the summer transfer window opened on June 14. Arsenal and Barcelona are the most probable destinations for Merino, who has only one year remaining on his contract. His club is prepared to part ways with him this summer.

Merino is reportedly unwilling to sign a new contract with Real Sociedad, and as a result, it is highly probable that he will depart the club. The estimated fee is €25 million (£21 million). Merino is currently on international duty with Spain at Euro 2024, and he played alongside Zubimendi in their 1-0 victory over Albania on Monday night. Consequently, negotiations may prove more challenging.

However, Sport, a Catalan outlet, reports that Arteta has personally contacted the 28-year-old to present his proposition. The Arsenal’s manager is eager to secure his services and has disclosed his “ambitious objectives” for him.

Merino had an exceptional season at Real Sociedad, making 45 appearances in all competitions and contributing eight goals and five assists. He has now earned 24 matches for Spain, but he is unfazed by the prospect of relocating to England. He previously played for Newcastle during the 2017/18 season.

Arteta himself was a player for Real Sociedad during his tenure, and there is an additional connection through Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard, who achieved great success in San Sebastian before relocating to north London. Merino has emerged as a more probable target than his teammate Zubimendi, who was born in the city and has spent his entire career with Real Sociedad.

The 25-year-old was pursued by Arsenal last summer and has also been associated with Bayern Munich. However, he is currently under contract until June 2027 and is not in a hurry to depart, particularly since Real Sociedad has guaranteed a spot in the Europa League for the upcoming season by finishing sixth in La Liga.

When asked about the possibility of leaving his current club, Zubimendi replied, “I am unable to provide an answer because I have not given it any consideration.” For the time being, I perceive it as distant, despite the fact that I am deeply adored by the individuals I hold dear.

“Is it bothersome for them to inquire about my future?” Yes, initially. However, I am now aware of the situation. I comprehend. I am familiar with the process of this matter in relation to journalism, markets, and football. I am required to comprehend it, and that is all.