Arsenal are closing in a deal to sign Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi ahead of the January transfer window, according to reports in Spain.

The Gunners brought in Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and David Raya in the summer transfer window as Mikel Arteta improved his squad once again.

Arsenal finished as runners-up to Manchester City in the Premier League title race last season, having led the way for much of the year, and in turn qualified for the Champions League.

That gave them extra money to play with in the transfer market and now there are reports in Spain that they are edding towards a deal for Sociedad midfielder Zubimendi as they look to continue to add to their squad.

The Spain international has been linked to Arsenal before and now Spanish publication Nacional insist that the Gunners are ‘close to taking’ a ‘favorite’ of Barcelona boss Xavi away from his grasp.

Xavi is a big fan of the midfielder but Arsenal ‘have set their eyes on’ on Zubimendi – who has played 143 times for Real Socieded – as Arteta looks to ‘finish rebuilding’ his squad.

And any deal has now become ‘more of a dream than a possibility’ for Xavi with Arsenal able to trigger his €60m (£51m) release clause ‘without negotiating’ with Barcelona hoping to get the fee down.

Arsenal are now ‘pursuing his signature’ in January after prioritising Declan Rice over the summer with Arteta now making his compatriot his ‘top priority The Gunners travel to Everton on Sunday after making a good start to the season but former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov reckons the Toffees could hold Arteta’s men to a draw.r Dimitar Berbatov reckons the Toffees could hold Arteta’s men to a draw.

Berbatov told Betfair: “There are rumors that Everton are in the process of changing owners. They have not started their campaign well, and they need to get the points.

“It’s not ideal for them to come up against Arsenal. Arsenal play good football, and Everton need to be clever against them. If they do not have the quality to match Arsenal, they will have to try and beat them physically. They will have to bully them a little bit. Everton used to have strong players, back in the day. Players who you would not want to play against, who would use their elbows flying around. They need to use their strong sides, even if it is ugly.

“In a desperate situation, you need to use desperate measures to get the points. If Everton continue the way they have done, they will not have a good season. However, it may come as a surprise, but I think this game will be a draw. Prediction: 1-1.”

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson “wouldn’t be surprised” if Everton held them to a draw but reckons the Gunners will win.

Merson told Sportskeeda: “Everton strangely turn up in these big games so I wouldn’t be surprised if this one ends all square. One day, they’re going to start putting all their chances away and that will be the day they click.

“That said, Arsenal undoubtedly go into this game as overwhelming favorites and will be under pressure to get all three points if Manchester City win their game. This game is far from a foregone conclusion, but I fancy Arsenal to step up to the plate and pick up all three points.

Arsenal have had their fair share of problems in recent weeks, but Gabriel Jesus’ return to full fitness is a massive boost. With UEFA Champions League football on the horizon, they’ll need timely contributions from everyone in the squad to compete on all fronts. Prediction: Everton 0-2 Arsenal.”

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