Liverpool are reportedly poised to derail Arsenal's pursuit of Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi by meeting his £51m release clause, according to Football Transfers.
The Reds' interest came amidst speculation that the club still lacks a top-quality player in the heart of their midfield, particularly after the departures of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho last summer.
Arsenal have long been admirers of Zubimendi, with numerous reports suggesting they are frontrunners to secure the signature of the 25-year-old Spanish international at the end of the season.
The Gunners' boss Mikel Arteta remains keen to bolster his midfield options, and Zubimendi was identified as a potential replacement for Thomas Partey, who is expected to depart this summer following another injury-hit campaign.
However, Liverpool have thrown their hat into the ring, with Football Transfers indicating that they are ready to compete vigorously with Arsenal for Zubimendi's services. It's reported that the Reds are willing to activate his £51m release clause to secure his signature.
Liverpool's need for a defensive midfielder has been further highlighted by Thiago Alcantara's recent injury setback, with the 32-year-old set to leave upon the expiry of his contract this summer.
Additionally, Alexis Mac Allister and Wataru Endo have been deployed in the holding midfield role, but both have faced challenges, with the Argentine not naturally suited to the position and the latter approaching his 31st birthday.
While Liverpool made significant midfield acquisitions last summer, including Ryan Gravenberch, Dominik Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, and Endo, the search for a genuine number six continues.
Despite the admirable performances of the new signings, Jurgen Klopp's desire for a specialist in that role is evident, with Mac Allister being deployed in an unfamiliar position.
Zubimendi is seen as a solution to this problem, given his reputation as one of the most technically gifted midfielders in the game. His arrival would not only provide Klopp with a natural holding midfielder but also afford Mac Allister the freedom to move forward into his preferred attacking-midfield role.