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Boost for Arsenal touted as Euro rivals could drop out of race for €50m-rated Barcelona star

Arsenal have reportedly received a transfer boost as Napoli could be out of the running for Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti due to his price-tag.

The 26-year-old joined the Catalan giants in 2016, but has gone on to make 114 appearances for the club in that time as he’s been blighted by injury problems dating back to last season.

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After making 83 appearances in his first two campaigns with the reigning La Liga champions, he has been limited to 31 in just over a season and a half since, although he has recently returned to the fold and seemingly has a key role to play under coach Quique Setien.

Nevertheless, speculation has been rife over his future, but now Sport report that the World Cup-winning French international could be deemed too expensive for Napoli as a €50m valuation from Barcelona is touted.

It’s added in the report that it could be an optimistic demand from the Spanish giants, but given the quality and experience that Umtiti possesses, if he can steer clear of injuries, he is among the top centre-halves in Europe.

Meanwhile, the Sun report that Napoli’s touted decision on Umtiti could be good news for Arsenal as it’s suggested that the Gunners are keen on the defensive ace to help shore things up in Mikel Arteta’s backline.

That said, the report doesn’t make clear if the rumoured price-tag is within Arsenal’s financial budget either, while there is said to also be interest from Man Utd and Tottenham.

Nevertheless, if Arsenal are keen on Umtiti, not having Napoli to fend off in a transfer battle is seemingly a boost in itself, and so it remains to be seen if Arteta presses ahead and tries to bring the Frenchman to the Emirates ahead of next season.

A decision will also be needed on loanee Pablo Mari, while William Saliba will return from his loan spell this summer and will be hopeful of staking his claim for a starting berth alongside the likes of David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis.

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