As per the recent reports, Arsenal have been offered the chance to sign Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti in this upcoming transfer window. Barcelona boss Xavi seems keen on replenishing the defensive department. Keeping that in mind, they will try to offload the French defender ahead of the new campaign.
Samuel Umtiti joined Barcelona from Lyon in 2016 and made a brilliant start to his career. However, his time at Camp Nou was eclipsed by injuries as the Frenchman even failed to be a regular starter for the Blaugrana since the 2018-19 season. He has been sidelined for almost four years, putting him out of the picture.
Umtiti has spent another injury-plagued campaign this season too and now appears on the course to leave Camp Nou in the summer. The 28-year-old has made only a solitary appearance for the Catalan giants in all competitions so far (stats via Transfermarkt).
The Gunners, along with manager Mikel Arteta have long admired the 2018 World Cup winner. And thus, they could be looking forth to increasing their squad depth by bringing the Barcelona defender to the Emirates Stadium in the upcoming window. It is also to be noted that Arsenal earlier was linked with a move for Samuel Umtiti in January. However, the deal went cold given the player incurred a toe injury.
Now, according to Daily Star, Arsenal are again in the running to sign Samuel Umtiti in the summer transfer window. The negotiations now seem to be underway but nothing is concrete yet, though the Gunners might try to push through a deal to bring in the defender.
However, this could hamper William Saliba’s future at the club. The player is currently on a loan to Ligue 1 club Marseille. The 21-year-old signed a contract with the North London side in 2019 but is yet to play even once for the Gunners. When his loan spell ends, he will have to fight for a place in the first team alongside Rob Holding, Ben White, and Gabriel Magalhães – who are likely said to be ahead of him in the pecking order.
Saliba’s loan spell in France has turned out to be a successful one as he flourished under Jorge Sampaoli, winning the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award. Similarly, during an award ceremony in Paris (via Daily Mail), Saliba talked about his situation at Marseille:
“Did I play my last match with OM? I don’t know. The future will tell us.”
“The most important thing is to confirm this good season by qualifying for the Champions League. Afterward, we’ll see.”
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This indicates William Saliba’s possibility of staying at Marseille, implying another season where Arteta plans to move forward without the services of Saliba. Although Arteta has insisted the 21-year-old will be of part of the first-team squad next season, uncertainty remains over his future at the North London club.
Meanwhile, Arsenal finished at fifth position this campaign, despite being in pole position to play in the UEFA Champions League, firmly sitting inside the top-four for the last couple of months. Therefore, it is uncertain if Umtiti will join a club who will play in the Europa League.
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