Arsenal want Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti, according to rumours on social media, with other reports suggesting he could leave Barcelona this summer.
Twitter user @DarrenArsenal1 claims Arsenal want to sign the French defender this summer, as the club continue their search for a new centre-back. Not exactly the most reliable source of information, but Darren has shown he has one or two contacts inside the club before.
The claims come days after Italian outlet CalcioMercato reported that Umtiti ‘could leave Barcelona in June’, particularly if the Catalan side end up signing Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax.
The CalcioMercato report suggested Umtiti was personally interested in a move to Manchester, with no stated preference between United and City. However, Arsenal could have some pull through the player’s friendship with Alexandre Lacazette.
Naby Sarr, Lacazette and Umtiti developed a close relationship whilst with Lyon. Sarr told LondonNewsOnline recently “that stayed the case even after I had moved to Portugal, he [Umtiti] went to Spain and he [Lacazette] came here [England]”.
One friendship won’t be enough to seal the deal though. To be at their most appealing, Arsenal will also probably have to qualify for the Champions League first.
As for why the Gunners would want Umtiti, at his best he’s a top quality defender. The 25-year-old passes excellently, he can carry the ball when required and he’s a great tackler. The major downside of signing him right now is he’s struggled with knee injuries all season. If that clears up, he’d make a fantastic addition to the Arsenal defence.