Arsenal keep a close eye on €20m-rated La Liga centre-back

Samuel Umtiti is once again the subject of interest from the London giants over a move in the summer transfer window. The 27-year-old centre-back is set to leave Barcelona post the end of the campaign, with ex-club Lyon also exploring the possibility of signing him.

Umtiti arrived at Camp Nou from Lyon in the summer of 2016 and enjoyed a fine maiden season with Barca, wherein he quickly established himself as a regular at the back. But, right after a solid debut campaign, things started to go pear-shaped, as a spate of injuries hampered Samuel’s progress, curtailing his game-time considerably.

As a result, France international has played only 129 games in five campaigns at Blaugrana, starting only 35 of the 156 matches that they have played over the last three seasons. Things seem to have reached a head at Barcelona, with the injuries adversely affecting his form as well.

Now facing an uncertain future at the Camp Nou, the French centre-back’s situation has alerted the Gunners. The Spanish manager currently has a plethora of defenders at his disposal, with William Saliba also likely to hope to secure regular playing time upon returning from his loan spell at Nice.

However, it is important to note that David Luiz is well into thirties and is being linked with a summer exit from the London club as a free agent. That leaves ikel MArteta with Pablo Mari, Gabriel Magalhaes, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers being the only other options at his disposal, with Chambers being utilised as a right-back lately.

Therefore, it is not hard to see why the Gunners could be in the market for a centre-back, with the World Cup winner a viable target, although the Blaugrana centre-back’s injury record might not make him an asset.