Arsenal reportedly have placed Samuel Umtiti on top of their summer shopping list, while a move could be considered a major coup.
Arsenal are looking to make at least five signings this season and have their priorities set on defensive reinforcements. The Independent have reported that Barcelona central defender, Samuel Umtiti tops Arsenal’s shopping list for the summer, although it will take major convincing to bring the French World Cup winner to the Emirates.
The Gunners are enduring a difficult season with their defence, although their star-studded attacking lineup have bailed them many times during this campaign. Emery wants to improve his side’s defence for next season and has prioritised signing a new central defender, and a left back during the window.
Samuel Umtiti’s situation has come under the Premier League scanner, as many high profile clubs would scramble for his signature if he is made available. It’s not to say his form has been poor, but since winning the World Cup with France last summer, injuries have forced him to miss plenty of games this season for Barcelona.
Additionally, in his absence, Clement Lenglet has taken over the mantle from the Frenchman and has become a cornerstone of the Barca backline alongside Gerard Pique. Moreover, Barcelona are said to be interested in signing Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt in the summer in a big move, and this could threaten Umtiti’s position in the team.
In all, with Barcelona pursuing de Ligt so openly, the club might be ready to move on one defender from their side, and it could well be Umtiti. The defender has a massive buyout clause after signing a new deal last summer, although it is likely Barca would look for a reasonable sum for the star. The Catalans had secured the signing of de Ligt’s Ajax teammate Frenkie de Jong earlier in January.
Arsenal, on the other hand, do have financial constraints when it comes to big money move, although much could improve if they qualify for next season’s Champions League. The Gunners are also looking at shifting some of their high earning stars such as Mkhitaryan and fringe players like Mohamed Elney in the summer window, something that could give them added financial muscle in transfers.
Even in the case that Arsenal have the money, they would have to fend off competition from the likes of Manchester United who are no strangers to be linked with high profile defensive targets. United will definitely be in the hunt for Umtiti if he is made available for transfer.
As for Arsenal, he would represent a fantastic buy and could be considered something of a coup. If he is to sign, then there would be outgoings as well, with Shkodran Mustafi the player likely to be replaced in defence. But Arsenal will have to come up with a significant transfer budget as well as qualification for the Champions League next season, in which case they would have the upper hand over Umtiti’s transfer.