Unconfirmed reports suggesting that Arsenal’s representatives have opened discussions with Barcelona regarding the transfer of Samuel Umtiti are premature.
Further reports suggesting that the gunners were due to meet with the player and his agent in the coming weeks in the hope of securing a verbal agreement are also wide of the mark.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu stated that they do not plan to sell Samuel Umtiti this summer but this appears to be something of a cat and mouse game to up the ante.
It’s rare that club officials give a green light to a transfer, they merely hint that it’s a possibility in the future to allow bidders to show an interest.
It’s a form of football poker that all clubs engage in to get the best deals for their unwanted players.
The Catalan club have become quite ruthless in negotiations involving surplus personnel and will squeeze every last penny out of any deal.
It’s rumoured Philippe Coutinho will only be released if someone stumps up over £300m, so much for the dream move to Barca.
If the situation for Samuel Umtiti wasn’t cloudy enough already, it’s now claimed Juventus have shown a firm interest in the defender and didn’t even blink at the price tag, believed to be around £63m.
According to Diario AS, Juve have won the race for the French international ahead of the 2019/20 season.
Samuel Umtiti has dropped down the pecking order at the Spanish club and it looks unlikely that there is a way back. This triggered interest from a host of clubs seeking his services.
Arsenal’s Unai Emery is on record declaring his admiration for the player saying :
“He’s a very good player,” he told RMC Sport. “France has a lot of very good footballers who are playing abroad. “The French league is a very attractive market for a lot of teams. 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.”
All that public flirting seems to have been futile and Samuel Umtiti is apparently meeting with Barcelona representatives to discuss his future and options but like Coutinho he won’t receive any favours to facilitate a transfer, no matter how much he wants it to go ahead.