€50m Arsenal, Chelsea target’s preference named as agent talks open

Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti would prefer to move to Chelsea, with Arsenal also keenly following his situation in Spain, according to reports.

Umtiti, a World Cup winner in 2018 with his native France, has been a solid addition for Barca since his arrival from Lyon in 2016.

However, since signing a new deal at the end of the 2017/18 campaign, the 26-year-old has been plagued by knee problems which have restricted his game time.

Indeed, the centre-back made only 15 appearances last term and has made 16 so far this time round.

According to Italian journalist Nicolo Schria – via his Twitter account – Arsenal were interested in Umtiti last summer but the player chose to stay in Catalonia.

This time round, both the Gunners and Chelsea are said to be keen, with the Blues opening talks with the defender’s agent, Arturo Canales, about a potential move.

Indeed, it is said that Barcelona are open to selling but only if their €50million price tag for the Frenchman is met.

Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo goes further, claiming that while Chelsea wanted to sign Umtiti last summer, their transfer ban – which ended in January – restricted their ability to do so.


It is said that Umtiti would prefer to move to Chelsea ahead of Arsenal and Manchester United, who have also been linked with a move.

In other news, United are reportedly tracking Lille striker Jonathan Ikone closely.

The 21-year-old has been a regular fixture for the Ligue 1 outfit this season, starting all but two of his side’s 28 league games.

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