La Liga champions Barcelona are reportedly set to sell Samuel Umtiti with the Premier League, via Arsenal or Manchester United, his likely destination.
Mikel Arteta is keen for Arsenal to rescue Samuel Umtiti from his life on the Barcelona bench, according to Sport.
One half of France’s World Cup winning defensive duo is apparently on his way out of La Liga.
While Raphael Varane is more important than ever to Real Madrid’s hopes, Umtiti has fallen down the pecking order at the Camp Nou, albeit thanks to a series of injuries rather than any issues with his form.
The former Lyon powerhouse has started just 22 games in the Spanish top flight since the start of 2018/19, with nine coming during the current campaign, and reports on the continent claim that Umtiti has now been placed on the transfer market.
Barca are hoping to raise well over £100 million in funds and Umtiti, who cost the Catalan giants £23 million four years ago, is viewed as the club’s most sellable asset as it stands.
And with good reason. Fitness might have proved to be elusive in the last 18 months or so but this is still a centre-half with world class potential, not to mention a World Cup trophy and two La Liga medals on his silver-coated CV.
Sport adds that Arsenal are set to do battle with Manchester United as Arteta feels Umtiti could represent a potentially invaluable addition to his squad.
There is no doubt that a fully-fit Frenchman would represent a sizeable upgrade on Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis and co, although these links do raise questions about whether Pablo Mari has a future at the Emirates beyond his existing loan spell.
Like Mari, Umtiti is a left-footed centre-back who is it his best when starting attacks from the back.
In other news, Graham Hunter offers view on Newcastle-linked Carles Alena