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Martin Zubimendi plays down Barcelona links, set for an extension with Real Sociedad

Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi has shrugged off the rumours linking him with a move to Barcelona.

The Catalan giants have reportedly identified the Spanish midfielder as a long-term successor to Sergio Busquets.

The veteran midfielder is in the final year of his contract, and there has been speculation this could be his last season at the club, with Major League Soccer touted as his next destination.

Blaugrana manager Xavi is said to be an admirer of Zubimendi, who has risen through the ranks of La Real.

The Spanish talent was on target in the La Liga win against Girona over the weekend.

However, the 23-year-old is not interested in moving to Camp Nou, revealing that he is on the verge of penning a new deal with his boyhood club.

Zubimendi told Carrusel Deportivo (h/t Fabrizio Romano): “There’s very good feeling between me and Real Sociedad. My contract extension is a matter of time.

“Xavi wants me? I don’t even think about it now, I’m focused on Real Sociedad.”

Barca have other options, including Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves. He has long been touted for a big move after having growing into one of the finest playmakers in the Premier League.

The Portuguese international’s contract at Molineux expires in 2024, and Barca have a great chance to acquire his services for a bargain fee if he opts against an extension.

Chelsea’s Jorginho is another name on Barca’s radar, and his contract at Stamford Bridge expires next summer.

Barca already have several options at their disposal, including Frenkie de Jong, Franck Kessie, Nico Gonzalez (currently on loan at Valencia) and highly-rated academy graduate Marc Casado, who all have the potential to play in the holding midfield role.

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