Arsenal are currently being linked with a player that Mikel Arteta’s predecessor described as “very good”.
According to the Daily Star, the Gunners – along with Premier League rivals Manchester United – have been offered Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti.
The 26-year-old centre-back has failed to get many games under his belt for Barca this season, making just 16 appearances in all competitions (Transfermarkt).
Umtiti has suffered some injury problems this term, while Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet were previous manager Ernesto Valverde’s preferred centre-back partnership.
According to the report, Barca are looking to offload the France international and intermediaries have been in touch with Arteta and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer about the prospect of taking him on.
The same outlet claimed last year that Umtiti was Unai Emery’s first-choice target at centre-back, ahead of Dayot Upamecano.
“He’s a very good player,” Emery said to The Metro when asked about the prospect of Umtiti joining the Gunners.
“I’ve always had French players in my teams. At Valencia, Sevilla, PSG and here at Arsenal. I’ve always been able to count on those players.”
It’s little surprise that Emery was fond of Umtiti and likewise it’s little surprise that Arsenal are being linked with him once again.
A world class player with a glittering CV including the World Cup, it’s a shame that Barca appear to have rendered him surplus to requirements.
Nonetheless, their loss could become Arsenal’s gain, and with the Gunners’ defence needing reinforcements, Umtiti – a pacey, powerful centre-back – would be a great addition.