Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is reportedly considering a proposal from Barcelona giving the Gunners first refusal on a deal to sign Samuel Umtiti this summer.
The French defender is likely to leave the Nou Camp this summer after struggling with injury over the past few seasons. Indeed, he has made just 41 appearances in LaLiga over the past four seasons, with just one of those coming in 2021/22. As such, it’s little surprise to see coach Xavi seemingly telling Umtiti he is free to leave this summer.
Indeed, the Barcelona coach has made Umtiti one of nine big-name stars he is looking to move on this summer.
But rather than wait for offers to arrive, Barcelona are actively looking to move on some of those stars.
And as per the Daily Star, they have been in contact with the Gunners to offer them Umtiti.
Once regarded as one of the world’s elite stars, the paper claims Arsenal are giving serious thought to Barca’s offer.
Indeed, Arteta was considering a move for the 28-year-old back in January. At the time, their chances of a deal were ultimately curtailed with Umtiti suffering a broken toe.
However, he has remained on their radar since. As such, the Gunners are reportedly considering the move if the price is right.
Umtiti in, Saliba out, claims report
Umtiti’s arrival, however, will reportedly spell the end of William Saliba’s time at the club.
However, the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year has question marks over his attitude. As such, the report claims it remains uncertain if Arteta actually trusts him.
Furthermore, the article claims Arteta could look to cash in Saliba, with the player having plenty of admirers.
Marseille would like to keep him permanently, while Atletico Madrid are reportedly preparing an offer.
And if they can sell him for an inflated fee and bring in Umtiti for far less, the report claims that is something Arteta is considering.
William Saliba deserves a chance at Arsenal
In our opinion, Arteta would be nuts to even consider signing Umtiti. Not only would he cost hefty wages, his injury record over the past four seasons is highly dubious. If he’d been injured for one season, that would be forgiveable. But you can’t ignore just how many games he has missed over a four-year period.
Instead, Arsenal would be far better giving Saliba a chance to prove his worth.
And while Ben White and Gabriel are the undisputed first choices, game-time would certainly come his way next season, particularly in the Europa League.
William Saliba wants to fight for his place at Arsenal
William Saliba wants his Arsenal return and is ready to fight for his place in the Arsenal back four
Indeed, all these big clubs chasing Saliba can’t be wrong. And while Arsenal may be tempted to cash in for a profit on a player who has yet to kick a ball for the club, it would be wrong to wave him away without at least seeing what he can do.
At just 21 years of age, Saliba fits perfectly into Arteta’s young mould. And proving himself in the Premier League, as opposed to Ligue 1, would almost certainly see his value soar further should Arteta decide he’s not right.