Barcelona star eyed by Arsenal to bolster key area of Unai Emery’s squad

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Arsenal are reportedly set to prioritise signing a defender this summer, and Barcelona ace Samuel Umtiti is said to be of interest to the Gunners.

Unai Emery’s men slipped up again in midweek as they suffered a defeat to Wolves on Wednesday night which was another blow to their top four hopes.

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They currently sit in fifth place in the Premier League table, albeit still just a point adrift of Chelsea in fourth with three games to go this season.

In turn, they may still achieve their objective of qualifying for the Champions League, but one of the biggest vulnerabilities in this side this year has been the defence.

Arsenal have conceded 46 goals in 35 league games thus far, giving them the second worst defensive record of the top seven sides.

With that in mind, defensive reinforcements will surely be on the agenda this summer.

According to the Daily Mail, the Gunners have a whole host of targets in mind, but the two stand-out names on that shortlist are Umtiti and Michael Keane, with Shkodran Mustafi tipped to be axed this summer given his ongoing poor form.

Umtiti would undoubtedly be the type of signing to take Arsenal to the next level and get the fans excited, as the World Cup winner has been a key figure for the Catalan giants since joining them from Lyon.

However, the 25-year-old has been limited to just 13 appearances this season due to a troublesome knee injury and increased competition for places at the Nou Camp, and so perhaps that would be a concern if Barcelona are willing to sell.

Meanwhile, Keane has established himself as a fundamental part of the Everton XI, and with experience of playing in the English top flight, he could be a sensible option too.

Nevertheless, with Barcelona continuing to be linked with a move for Ajax starlet Matthijs de Ligt, as per the Daily Star, that could free up Umtiti with Ernesto Valverde already having the likes of Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet at his disposal.

More Stories Michael Keane Samuel Umtiti Unai Emery