Barcelona Willing To Loan Unwanted Star To Arsenal, Report Says

Samuel Umtiti of FC Barcelona gestures during the Liga match between FC Barcelona and Getafe CF at Camp Nou on February 15, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.

After not being able to maximize Samuel Umtiti on the defensive end last season due to a series of recurring injuries, Barcelona has put the defender up for sale and loan this summer, with Arsenal being mentioned as a top suitor, a report said.

Upon the arrival of new Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman, the club began its major rebuilding processes. At this point, only a few players are believed to be untouchable at Barca. In fact, one of the outcasts heavily linked to a move away from Camp Nou is once-phenomenal signing Umtiti.

With no proper contract extension offers from Barca yet, Umtiti’s time at Camp Nou could be over. The Catalans are now listening to loan offers but are also open to selling the struggling defender to other clubs, Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo reported.

The appointment of Koeman as boss saw the Frenchman not being handed a chance to re-establish himself as Barcelona’s key player. Umtiti is still tied with Barca until 2023 and is said to be unwilling to leave and discuss his possible exit at this point.

It is also believed that Barcelona has grown tired of the center-back’s poor form and is now determined to let him go, with Roma, Lazio, Napoli, West Ham, Leicester and Arsenal showing interest. 

However, no club has made an acceptable offer for Umtiti yet, forcing Barca to consider allowing him to leave even on loan, the report said.

Among the clubs interested in Umtiti, Arsenal is viewed as the likely frontrunner to land the France international. The Gunners are already stacked with great defenders, but some reports suggested that Mike Arteta could still add some defensive reinforcement.

Umtiti arrived at the Camp Nou in the summer of 2016. He quickly became a key player and had some of the best seasons of his career with Barcelona. However, injuries started to hinder his progress following the 2018 World Cup triumph with Les Bleus.

During the latter part of the last season, Umtiti was ruled out once again due to a knee injury. After learning he would miss the rest of the campaign, the dejected Barcelona star posted a heartbreaking message on his Instagram Stories.

“I wish I could go back to the past, not to change things, but to relive the time when I was happy and didn’t know it,” Umtiti wrote.

Barcelona is set to make wholesale changes this summer after a humiliating exit in the Champions League. Several names are already linked to different clubs, including Lionel Messi, who is expected to be headed to Manchester City for a grand reunion with former coach Pep Guardiola.
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