Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti has stated that he will be staying in Spain next season, despite interest from the Premier League, especially from Unai Emery's Arsenal, as reported by Express.
The Gunners have been in search of a commanding defender for many a season now, and while they did sign a considerable upgrade in Borussia Dortmund's Sokratis, they are looking for another top-notch player to partner him. The Frenchman could have been the perfect partner, having lost his place to compatriot Clement Lenglet due to injury issues.
ARSENAL want to sign Barcelona star Samuel Umtiti. But reports claim the France international is unwilling to make the move this summer.— TransferRepeatNews (@RepeatTransfer) June 8, 2019
Umtiti signed from Lyon in the summer of 2016, and went from strength to strength, holding a first team place on the left side of the defensive duo under Luis Enrique, but a recent recurring injury has seen him out of the squad. That void was duly filled by the ex-Sevilla man Lenglet.
The 25 year old dismissed the growing transfer speculation surrounding him and confirmed he intends to stay at the Camp Nou next season. He told RTL France: "I have a contract, I feel happy in Barcelona. I had a complicated season, but I will still be at Barcelona next season."
The statement would have come as a blow to Unai Emery, who is reportedly desperate to strengthen his squad this summer.