Xavi calls Martin Zubimendi “a great player” amid transfer speculation

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Barcelona boss Xavi brands Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi “a great player” amid the speculation surrounding a possible move to Camp Nou.

Barcelona boss Xavi has called Martin Zubimendi “a great player” amid the ongoing speculation surrounding the Real Sociedad midfielder’s future.

The Spaniard was heavily linked with a move away from his Basque club over the summer, but he ultimately signed a new contract with Imanol Alguacil‘s side, which is due to run until June 2027.

The deal has not halted the speculation surrounding an exit, though, with Barcelona, in addition to Manchester United and Arsenal, said to be interested in signing him this summer.

Zubimendi is expected to be in the Real Sociedad XI that starts Wednesday’s Copa del Rey quarter-final with Barcelona at Camp Nou.

Xavi was asked about the 23-year-old during his pre-match press conference, with the Catalan outfit thought to be targeting him as a replacement for Sergio Busquets, who could leave on a free transfer this summer.

FC Barcelona coach Xavi reacts on January 8, 2023© Reuters

“He is more physical and faster than Busi, who is better technically. But it’s not just Zubimendi, it’s all the players in midfield. We have a great team visiting us. Zubimendi is a great player,” said the Barcelona boss.

Ahead of Sunday’s La Liga clash with Getafe, Xavi was also asked about the Spanish midfielder.

“I don’t like to talk about players under contract with other teams. We will try to be better than Real Sociedad in the Copa, but we are now focused on tomorrow’s (Sunday’s) game. We’ve lost four points at home and we can’t lose any more,” he told reporters.

Barcelona have not brought any new players to the club during the January window, but Memphis Depay has departed, and there have been claims that there could be an addition or two before the end of the market.

However, Xavi has said that he is expecting “little movement” at Camp Nou over the next week.

Barcelona manager Xavi pictured in September 2022© Reuters

“I expect little…

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