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Arsenal eye swoop to sign £53m star as Emery looks to plug leaky defence

By on May 24, 2019

According to L’Équipe, Arsenal are eyeing a move to sign Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona in a potential £53m deal with Laurent Koscielny edging closer to leaving the club this summer.

Koscielny has just one year left on his contract and the French outlet says he’s hoping to play for another two or three years but Arsenal are yet to initiate talks to discuss an extension to his deal.

The French international is still feeling the effects of a serious Achilles injury that he suffered back in 2018 and he’ll turn 34 in September so it’s easy to understand why Arsenal would be reluctant to offer him a new contract.

L’Equipe say the situation means Koscielny may play his final game in Arsenal colours when we take on Chelsea in the Europa League final next week with Bayer Leverkeusen, AC Milan, Monaco and Rennes all keen to sign the defender.

Koscielny’s exit would leave a big void to fill in what’s already a very vulnerable Arsenal defence but L’Equipe claim Unai Emery has lined-up Samuel Umtiti as a potential replacement.

The 25-year-old has struggled to hold down a regular place since joining Barcelona from Lyon in 2016 and the report suggests the Catalans will sell if £53m is put on the table this summer as they want to use the money to help fund a move for Ajax captain Matthijs De Ligt.

There is no doubt Arsenal need to overhaul our defence this summer as we’ve arguably gotten worse since Arsene Wenger left with the club after conceding 51 goals in the league alone in Emery’s first campaign.

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We need to tighten up significantly if we’re to become a serious force again and Umtiti would be an exciting addition to the squad – but only if we could keep him fit as he’s struggled badly with knee injuries over the past two years.

Emery is going to be operating on a tight budget this summer so can Arsenal really afford to risk £53m on a player who has dodgy knees? No, probably not, so I’d personally be very surprised if the club pursued a deal at that kind of price.

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