Barcelona transfer race being won by Arsenal boss Unai Emery despite Man Utd interest

ARSENAL are leading Manchester United in the race to sign Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, according to reports in Italy.


Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2019 by Express.co.uk

Umtiti is unsettled at the Nou Camp after falling out of favour under manager Ernesto Valverde.
 
He has been linked with a host of clubs including Arsenal and United, as well as Italian giants Roma.
 
TuttoMercatoWeb claim they want to sign the Frecnhman if Kostas Manolas - also a United target - is sold in the summer.
 
However, it is claimed the Gunners are in pole position get him and manager Unai Emery recently hinted he was interested in the player.
 
"He's a very good player," Emery said earlier this month.
 
"France has a lot of very good footballers who are playing abroad. 'The French league is a very attractive market for a lot of teams.
 
"I've always had French players in my teams. At Valencia, Sevilla, PSG and here at Arsenal. 'I've always been able to count on those players."
 
Umtiti signed a new contract after winning the World Cup with France that saw his release clause increased to a whopping £432million.

Barcelona transfer race being won by Arsenal boss Unai Emery despite Man Utd interest
Samuel Umtiti has been linked with a move to Arsenal and Manchester United (Image: GETTY)

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu recently moved to play down the rumours lining him with a move away from the club and insists they are not looking to sell.
 
"He renewed before the World Cup; he has four years left on his contract and there is no Umtiti issue," he said.
 
"He has to regain form after recovering from his injury, as we want to have him in the best form possible.
 
"He and [Clement] Lenglet are two of the best left-footed central defenders and at Barca we want the best."

Barcelona transfer race being won by Arsenal boss Unai Emery despite Man Utd interest
Umtiti has fallen out of favour at Barcelona (Image: GETTY)

Barcelona transfer race being won by Arsenal boss Unai Emery despite Man Utd interest
Unai Emey's Arsenal are reported to be in pole position to sign the Frenchman (Image: GETTY)

If that stance changes, Umtiti will not be short of suitors.
 
Both United and Arsenal are looing to rebuild their squads after struggling at times this season.
 
A new centre-back remains a priority for both Premier League rivals.
 
United have also been linked with Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly, while it was recently claimed Arsenal will attempt to make a shock swoop on Tottenham for Toby Alderweireld.



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