Samuel Umtiti says he doesn’t know where the rumours linking him to Arsenal came from this summer, and he had no plans to leave Barcelona for anyone.
Back in around March of this year, a rumour started that Arsenal were interested in Samuel Umtiti. The claims seemed fairly believable, considering the Gunners needed an upgrade in defence, and Umtiti had a heavily disrupted season with Barcelona.
When the transfer window opened, the transfer reports kept coming, with some suggesting Barcelona would be open to selling or loaning with an option to buy.
From Umtiti’s point of view, he says he was well aware of the gossip, but much less privy to any genuine discussions with Arsenal.
“Honestly, I don’t know where this rumour with Arsenal came from,” he told Canal Football Club (via Goal). “Overnight, I received messages from my friends, ‘ah, so you are joining Arsenal?’, I’m not, I’m sorry but I’m staying at Barcelona.
“Contacts with Arsenal? To be honest, I don’t know if they had conversations with my agent, I just told him that I didn’t care what was happening this summer and that it wasn’t even necessary to talk to me about it.
“It was useless, I was going to have the same answer. My dream as a child is to play for Barcelona. Last season was the most difficult of my career, especially in terms of injuries.”
The whole story feels like one that people simply tried to wish into existence. It would have been great to sign a player like Umtiti, and that kept it in the headlines even though there seemingly wasn’t anything behind it. It’s the same reason we kept hearing about Benzema for four or five years.
Umtiti is yet to fully return to the Barcelona team after his most recent injury problems, dropping in and out of the side towards the end of 2018/19 and starting on the bench in all three of their matches so far this season.
It appears he’s not worried about that though, at least for the time being.