Barcelona Know Signing Martin Zubimendi Is Difficult, Deal Could Hinge On Lionel Messi Operation
According to Toni Juanmarti, Barcelona are very much aware that signing Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi this summer will be difficult for the club.
However, they are not saying it is ‘impossible’ at this point as things could change depending on some factors, including the operation to re-sign Lionel Messi.
It is no secret at this point that Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez wants to replace his departing captain Sergio Busquets with Zubimendi.
However, the Spanish international comes with a €60 million release clause embedded in his contract and Real Sociedad have no intentions of negotiating a lower price. As of now, though, the Blaugrana are not in a position to shell out that sum of money.
Hence, the newly-crowned La Liga champions know that it will be very difficult to land the signing of Zubimendi in the summer.
But, the report adds that the success or failure of ‘Operation Messi’ could have an impact on Barça’s pursuit of Zubimendi.
Along with the pivot midfielder, the Catalan giants have made it an absolute priority to bring back their former captain to the club this summer.
Messi will become a free agent and will leave PSG, with Barcelona and some clubs in Saudi Arabia emerging as his possible destinations.
The 35-year-old already has a mammoth €500 million per year contract offer from Al Hilal but Barça are yet to send in a proposal, as they are waiting for La Liga’s approval of their economic viability plan.
There is optimism that Messi will return to the club. But in case the operation goes south, it could leave room economically for Barcelona to go after Zubimendi’s signing.
However, even then, the La Liga champions would have to cross the hurdle of getting the ‘OK’ from the midfielder himself, who is very content at Real Sociedad and is looking to play Champions League football with the Basque club.
So, despite Xavi’s insistence on his signing, a move for Zubimendi appears really complicated and could hinge on how the Messi operation pans out as well.