Report: Arsenal and Manchester United to battle for £63m-rated World Cup winner

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Arsenal appear to have some serious ambitions for the summer, with the latest reports linking them with a move for a world cup winner.

The Gunners are often linked to attacking players in the transfer market, but fans will be reassured to see that the club are now being linked to some top quality defenders, the latest of which is Barcelona and France defender Samuel Umtiti.

Valued at £63million by transfermarkt, Umtiti is one of the best defenders in Europe and about to enter his prime years, aged just 25. But Barcelona appear to be desperate to make a big money move for Matthias De Ligt from Ajax. To fund this move, they’ll need to shift someone already at the club and Umtiti could be that player.

According to Mundo Deportivo, the Gunners and Manchester United are interested in signing Umitii if the French defender becomes available this summer.

£60million-£80million is the amount touted, and that is a lot of money, but there’s no doubt that the Gunners need a central defender of the highest quality and its very rare that a player like Umtiti becomes available.

Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal’s director of football, used to work for Barcelona and actually helped the Spanish club sign him back in 2016. It is possible that his former connections could see Arsenal get a bit of a discount off of the price they are currently demanding.

Interestingly Umtiti was at the Emirates to watch Arsenal beat Chelsea earlier this season, which at the time, fueled speculation. He was injured when pictured at the London club but has since returned to fitness.

The Frenchman has a 95.5% pass accuracy at Barcelona, more than any other Barca player.

Arsenal would also need to move someone on in order to generate funds for such a big signing, and Skhodran Mustafi would be the leading candidate to move. Aged 26, the German has resale value and the club would hope to recoup at least half of the £35million they invested in him.

Calum Chambers, currently on loan at Fulham, could also leave for around £15million-£20million this summer to raise some more funds.

Unai Emery views Sokratis as his first choice central defender, whilst Laurent Koscielny (33) is nearing the end of his playing career and both Rob Holding and Mavropanos are highly rated, but both very young and inexperienced. A player of Umtiti’s quality and age appears to be the perfect addition to supplement the Gunners current defensive options.

Let’s cross our fingers and hope this one happens.

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