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Spanish giants hoping key star's high release clause can stop United in January

A leaky defence and a mediocre midfield ailed Manchester United last campaign as they ended up finishing a dismal sixth in the Premier League.

That necessitated a major overhaul and Ajax’s highly successful manager Erik ten Hag was entrusted with the unenviable task of restoring United’s former glory.

The Dutchman quickly got down to work and one of his first decisions was to sign a couple of defenders and midfielders each as he sought to build a solid spine.

Big money was spent to upgrade the midfield as multiple Champions League winner Casemiro was brought in from Real Madrid while free agent Christian Eriksen addressed the team’s lack of creativity in the centre of the park.

Midfield search

However, due to both player’s being 30 currently and Fred‘s future being up in the air, more midfield additions will be required and the Dutchman is trying to find the ideal target.

High-profile names such as Frenkie de Jong, Jude Bellingham and Moises Caicedo have been doing the rounds since the summer.

The latest name to be added to the list is Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi, a player the Dutch manager fell in love with after his team’s two duels with the Spanish side in the Europa League group stages.

As previously reported by The Peoples Person, Barcelona are also in the race for the 23-year-old with Xavi keen to add quality in the centre of the pitch.

According to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, there is a sense of uneasy calm at the club surrounding the future of Zubimendi.

Real Sociedad worried

La Real are aware of the fact that should United choose to go all in for the midfielder, a transfer would be the most natural outcome.

But they feel the release clause of the player which is €60 million is sufficient to halt the advances for now. The club feel United are the only contenders as Barcelona are still struggling with financial difficulties.

Club president Jokin Aperribay maintains that Martin “has had many opportunities to leave, but he wants to stay at Real and is a fundamental pillar.”

Roberto Olabe, the club’s DoF revealed that they felt “happy and calm” at the current situation and also felt the release clause was “dissuasive”

He added that by signing of the contract extension which ties him to the club till 2027, Zubimendi had “manifested” his desire to stay at the club.

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