Arsenal 'eye' £52m move for Champions League midfielder as Thomas Partey exit talks continue

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Arsenal are starting to put plans in place ahead of the January transfer window.

Arsenal are widely reported to be in the market for a midfielder in the January transfer window as Mikel Arteta aims to bolster his side's hopes of winning the Premier League title.

The Gunners currently have a shortage of central midfielders with both Martin Odegaard and Thomas Partey being absent with injury. While the captain Odegaard is expected to return in the near future, the same cannot be said for Partey who is absent until at least January before immediately linking up with his Ghana team mates in the Africa Cup of Nations.

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Meanwhile, Arsenal are also expected to lose Mohamed Elneny for the tournament, with the midfielder likely to be a part of the Egypt squad.

Partey's future at Arsenal remains in doubt amid reports linking him with a move to Italian giants Juventus. This has prompted talks of a move for a high quality midfield option, who can serve as an alternative or a partner to Declan Rice.

Earlier reports from Fabrizio Romano claim Douglas Luiz is high on Arsenal’s wishlist, although the deal may be difficult to negotiate due to Aston Villa’s ambitious plans under Unai Emery, who sees the player as an asset.

Another player on Arteta’s radar, according to football.london, is Spanish international Martín Zubimendi of Real Sociedad. Zubimendi is a highly-rated defensive midfielder who emerged as a first team fixture at Sociedad in 2019/20 when the club won the Copa Del Rey title.

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The 24-year-old has been a near ever present in a team which has recorded three consecutive top six finishes, the highest of which came last season when they finished fourth and qualified for the Champions League.

Such form has earned Zubimendi two international caps for a very competitive Spanish team and he is expected to be one of the contenders to make the Euro 2024 squad.

Zubimendi has helped his side to an exceptional start in the Champions League and they currently find themselves top of the group, ahead of the likes of Inter Milan, RB Salzburg and Benfica with three wins and one draw. Zubimendi is seen as a key player at his club, but Sky Sports has previously revealed that he has a release clause of around £52.8m.

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