Arsenal chief opens talks over beating Manchester United to exciting £51m transfer

Arsenal chief Raul Sanllehi has reportedly contacted Barcelona’s sporting director Eric Abidal about a potential transfer move for defender Samuel Umtiti.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira, the Gunners are serious about bringing the France international to the Emirates Stadium this summer in what would no doubt be one of the most exciting signings by the club in recent times.

MORE: Arsenal ready to gamble and pay €35m for risky transfer

Arsenal are not normally known to enter the market for big names like Umtiti, who has also been linked fairly strongly with their rivals Manchester United.

Mundo Deportivo yesterday linked both clubs with the 25-year-old, while Don Balon claimed United were preparing a bid of around £51million for the player.

It remains to be seen if Arsenal could afford to go that high for a new defender, but their fans would love to see them show that kind of ambition.

The likes of Liverpool and Manchester City have invested heavily in strengthening their defence in recent times, and it’s been crucial to their dominance of the Premier League this season.

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Samuel Umtiti is a transfer target for Arsenal and Manchester United

Arsenal surely have to bring in a player as good as Umtiti in order to compete, with Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos not really of the required standard.

It would be a blow for United to miss out on Umtiti, however, as they also urgently need to improve their back line after Eric Bailly’s dip in form, while Phil Jones has never really looked top four material.

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