A transfer merry-go-round has left Arsenal in pole position to sign Samuel Umtiti, reports claim.
According to reports in Spain, Arsenal are one of a number of teams chasing Umtiti, and Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu did not rule out a sale when speaking on the matter, as reported by Sport.
Now, a report from TuttoMercatoWeb claims Manchester United are hoping to sign Kostas Manolas from AS Roma, and that the Italians want Umtiti as his replacement.
Here’s the good news for Gunners fans though – the report claims Roma are already behind in the race to sign Umtiti as Arsenal are “definitely on pole” to sign the World Cup winner, as translated by Sport Witness.
If the media’s enquiries into Roma’s interest in Umtiti were really met with ‘won’t happen, Arsenal are already in there’ then that is fantastic news for the red half of north London.
The Gunners are absolutely crying out for a left-sided centre back with true quality, and Umtiti has multiple domestic titles along with a World Cup winner’s medal under his belt already at just 25 years of age.
The Barcelona ace, who has lost his place to Clement Lenglet at times this season due to form and injuries, is incredibly athletic, gifted on the ball in typical Barcelona fashion and even reads the game superbly well for a relatively young centre half.
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Umtiti is an immediate upgrade on any of the club’s current defensive options, and given their struggles to keep clean sheets this season could end up being their most important signing in years – sorry Mesut Ozil.
There is one bad omen in all this though – the last time Arsenal signed a World Cup winning centre back his name was Shkodran Mustafi.