Samuel Umtiti seems to have ruled out a potential move to Arsenal after committing his future at FC Barcelona.
As reported by Football.London, Arsenal’s hopes of signing Samuel Umtiti has taken a major blow as the defender appears to be quite happy to commit his future at FC Barcelona.
Speaking to Canal Football Club, the defender said, “I don’t see myself in a club other than Barcelona. I have been clear with everyone on this issue.” He did, however, reveal that there was a possibility of him returning to Olympique Lyon in the summer.
Lyon is my team, it is my city. It is the team that has given me the opportunity to play in Europe, in Barcelona and with the national team. There were talks with them during the transfer market, but there was never anything concrete”, he said, as quoted by Canal Football Club.
Arsenal, meanwhile, were linked with a move for Umtiti in the summer, as Mikel Arteta was desperate to undergo a massive overhaul in the defensive department. Unfortunately, the financial crisis inflicted by the Coronavirus saw them fail to get rid of their fringe players like Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi.
The Gunners, instead, settled for the services of Gabriel Magalhaes. The Brazilian defender joined from LOSC Lille for a reported fee of £27 million. He has been quite a bargain, as well, having created a formidable defensive partnership alongside David Luiz in these early parts of the campaign.
Arsenal, in fact, have appeared relatively solid in the defensive department so far and signing another centre-back like Umtiti might not be their priority at the moment.
The Frenchman, however, could play a key role for Barcelona, not only in the present but also in the future. The Blaugrana have limited options in the central defensive unit, especially after they failed to secure the services of Eric Garcia in the summer.
Although the Manchester City star is almost destined to join the club sooner rather than later, coach Ronald Koeman, at the moment, only has two proven options in defence in Clement Lenglet and Gerard Pique, who is already on the final phase of his career. Umtiti, in that regard, should appear as a vital option for the Dutchman.
Unfortunately, injuries haven’t been to the 26-year-old, who is still facing a spell on the sideline due to fitness issues. As a result, Koeman has had to rely on the young Ronald Araujo as his third choice centre-back. But as Umtiti nears his return to full fitness, it will be interesting to see whether or not he can give Pique a run for his money this season.