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Arsenal in surprise talks to sign Barcelona centre-back?

Arsenal in surprise talks to sign Barcelona centre-back?

Umtiti on Arsenal radar?
Football Transfer Centre

Arsenal director of football Raul Sanllehi has reportedly opened discussions with Barcelona chief Eric Abidal over a possible move for Samuel Umtiti in the summer.

The France international has endured a difficult season with the Blaugrana marred with injuries and he has managed just eight league starts through the campaign.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Blaugrana are weighing up a big-money move to pursue Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt and this may encourage Umtiti to pursue a fresh challenge elsewhere in the bid for gametime.

Manchester United have been linked with the Frenchman over the past year but the Italian publication claims that the Gunners could have the edge with Sanllehi opening talks with the Blaugrana hierarchy.

Arsenal have once more possessed a fragile backline this term and they have managed just six clean sheets from 30 league games. Umtiti won't come on the cheap for them with Barcelona said to want at least £55m for his services.