Manchester United are interested in Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi, according to reports from Spain.
Mundo Deportivo claims that the Red Devils are prepared to battle FC Barcelona for the Spaniard of whom Xavier Hernandez is also a keen admirer.
The 23-year-old recently faced United in the Europa League, whereas his positional acumen and defensive nous were on display as the La Liga side limited Erik ten Hag’s attack to top the group.
Zubimendi only signed an extension six weeks ago, taking his contract expiry date all the way to June 2027.
However Mundo Deportivo report that his €60m release makes him an attractive proposition for United as they look reinforce their midfield.
Sociedad do not anticipate the player’s departure in January but, given the clause, will be unable to stop their number three leaving the club should a buyer show the necessary determination.
A safe passer and competent ball carrier, Zubimendi is as comfortable in possession as he is at winning it back.
United could certainly do with additional options in midfield, with the squad often looking thin despite adding Casemiro and Christian Eriksen in the summer.
The latter, in particular, has no real cover and showed signs of fatigue as the Red Devils’ schedule became more congested through October and early November.
But with Zubimendi primarily a defensive midfielder, he would likely not be an adequate solution to United’s lack of creativity in deep areas when Eriksen is unavailable.
He would more than likely be an alternative to Casemiro, who already has Scott McTominay as something of an understudy this season.
Given United’s summer-long pursuit of Frenkie de Jong it would appear that if Erik ten Hag does want another midfielder, they will be more of a creative type rather than another ball winner.