Blow for Arsenal as Barcelona set huge €80m price for key target


Date published: Monday 15th April 2019 1:12

Barcelona have set the asking price for defender Samuel Umtiti at €80m amid interest from Juventus and Arsenal.

Umtiti has slipped down the pecking order at Barcelona this season, due to injury problems and the form of summer signing Clement Lenglet, who has established himself as the first-choice partner for Gerard Pique.

Consequently, Umtiti could be ready to call time on his Barcelona career after three years at Camp Nou – but the Catalan club are not prepared to let him leave on the cheap.

According to Calciomercato, Barcelona will demand €80m for the 25-year-old, who was a key part of France’s World Cup-winning squad last summer.

That fee would represent a huge blow to both interested parties, as Juventus reportedly deem it too high, whilst Arsenal are under their own financial pressures.

Serie A champions-elect Juventus are in the market for defenders due to the increasing age of their backline, with regular starting centre-backs Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci both over 30, and Andrea Barzagli confirming his intentions to retire at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Unai Emery has not hidden his admiration of Umtiti, claiming the ex-Lyon man would be someone he could “count on” to shore up their defence if he was to move to the Emirates. However, with Barcelona’s hefty demands, it appears that a deal will be unlikely.

Umtiti has also been linked with Manchester United, although it seems that Kalidou Koulibaly is the Red Devils’ priority ahead of the summer transfer window.

 

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