Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi has said that he is “not worried” about the rumours linking him with a switch to Barcelona.
The 23-year-old has allegedly been identified by the Catalan giants as a potential replacement for Sergio Busquets, who is expected to leave Camp Nou on a free transfer next summer.
However, when questioned on the reported interest, Zubimendi claimed that he was only focusing on signing a new contract with Real Sociedad.
The Spaniard still has another three years left to run on his current deal, but there is thought to be a €60m (£52.3m) release clause in his current agreement.
“Yes, I hope to renew. The harmony is very good. It is a matter of time. Now I have to focus on all the games to come,” Zubimendi told Cadena SER. “I am not worried about Barcelona right now. I have to be focused on what is coming, which is a lot and very hard.”
Barcelona boss Xavi is said to be a huge admirer of Zubimendi, who came through the youth system at Real Sociedad, representing their C and B teams before debuting for the first team in 2019.
The central midfielder has represented the Basque outfit on 105 occasions in all competitions, contributing three goals and three assists in the process.
This season, Zubimendi has again been a key player for Imanol Alguacil‘s side, making seven appearances, six of which have been in La Liga, contributing one assist.
Real Sociedad are believed to be keen to sign him to a new deal until June 2027, which could potentially include a release clause of €60m (£78.6m).
A recent report claimed that Wolverhampton Wanderers‘ Ruben Neves is also a leading midfield target for Barcelona, with Busquets seemingly preparing to end his career with the Catalan outfit next year.
There have been claims that the experienced midfielder has already agreed to make the move to the MLS, but he insisted that was not the case when questioned over the international break before also commenting on the rumours surrounding Zubimendi.
“I can’t tell you anything because there’s nothing. There is nothing despite the rumours that have appeared. There is nothing official. I’ll see how I’m doing this season. There is nothing,” Busquets told reporters.
“I want to enjoy myself and then I will see. It is clear that I am not 20 years old. A priority, it is the last year of my contract, but things have been made official that are false.
“Zubimendi is a great player, but he’s from La Real. I don’t know if Barcelona is interested. Both here and at Barcelona the game is very positional.
“You have to support, look for your partner. Luck is being able to play in the best in the world and in a great team. The coach is looking for very similar players, who assimilate the way of playing.”
Barcelona will be bidding to return to winning ways in the Champions League when they make the trip to Italian giants Inter Milan on Tuesday night.