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Arsenal eye €80m-rated World Cup winner to replace influential ace

Arsenal have reportedly set their sights on Samuel Umtiti as a replacement for Laurent Kosicelny, who is linked with a move to AC Milan.

Koscielny has been a key figure for the Gunners for several years, making over 350 appearances for the club since joining them in 2010.

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However, as he prepares to turn 34 in September, coupled with the fact that his contract will expire in 2020 and he has been blighted by injuries in recent years, he could be edging closer to an exit from the Emirates sooner rather than later.

As noted by Goal Italy, Milan are among the teams said to be monitoring his situation with a view of a potential move this summer, as it’s suggested that a lack of progress in contract talks could see him be given the chance to move on.

Interestingly, the report adds Arsenal have already identified Umtiti as a target to fill the void in the backline, and if a deal can be done for the French international who helped Les Bleus lift the World Cup last summer, it would surely push his compatriot closer to the exit door.

It won’t be cheap though, as Calciomercato, via Don Balon, report that Umtiti could cost up to €80m, and so it remains to be seen if Arsenal can afford to prise him away from Barcelona this summer.

Having been limited to just 15 appearances this season due to a troublesome knee injury and the emerging partnership of Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet, Umtiti’s future at Barca is seemingly now uncertain and so it could be an opportunity that Arsenal look to exploit.

Nevertheless, that could mean a farewell for Koscielny, which will be a huge disappointment given how important he has been to Arsenal over the years.

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