Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has rubbished summer transfer links that suggested he was a possible target for Arsenal.
The French enforcer has been speaking to TV show Canal Football Club about the summer rumours that circulated.
Arsenal had been linked with a move for the 25-year-old when boss Unai Emery was frantically searching for a central defender (Football London).
A move never came to fruition and the Gunners bolstered their defensive ranks with David Luiz instead.
It would appear not that Umtiti signing for Arsenal wasn’t even remotely close at all.
He told Canal Football Club: “Honestly, I don’t know where this rumour with Arsenal came from.
“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.”
Umtiti is paid £75,000-a-week (Spotrac) at Barcelona and would have been a quality addition for Arsenal.
Defensive concerns remain
The Gunners have made a pretty decent start to their 2019/20 campaign but the same problems have reared their ugly head.
Arsenal’s only defeat of the campaign came against Liverpool and Luiz was given the runaround by Mohamed Salah.
There is an argument to suggest that the Gunners would welcome another central defender; which could pave the way for a January move for Umtiti perhaps.
With Arsenal not in the Champions League, however, the club may have to wait until the summer to try and tempt Umtiti into leaving the Spanish champions.
Prising him away from the Nou Camp won’t be easy, however, with Arsenal very much in a period of transition.