With Mikel Arteta seemingly needing to bring in some new faces in the transfer window to help make Arsenal a team that is challenging for silverware again, the news that Barcelona have muscled in on a potential target isn’t likely to have gone down well in North London.
The Catalans will likely go into the final season of Josep Maria Bartomeu’s presidency by having put almost all of their first team squad up for sale, and to that end, they too will need some new reinforcements.
Central defence appeared to be a problem area for them for many years, but the Carles Puyol/Gerard Pique pairing seemed to solve all of their issues.
Once Puyol retired, Samuel Umtiti took over the mantle alongside Pique, but a drastic loss of form has meant that he’s no longer a guaranteed starter.
Countryman, Clement Lenglet, has been a revelation since joining from Sevilla, although in the current market he could well bring in more money than Umtiti.
The likelihood that one or the other will leave is high, and with Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt out of their price range, RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano has become a realistic €50m option, and Barca’s no.1 target according to Don Balon.
TalkSPORT noted earlier in the month that the Gunners were on the trail of the youngster, quoting Timo Werner’s opinion that his team-mate could become as good as Jerome Boateng.
His next choice of club could well dictate how accurate that prediction becomes.