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Barcelona star Umtiti opens up on Arsenal transfer rumours after Lacazette message | Football | Sport

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Samuel Umtiti has laughed off suggestions he was close to leaving Barcelona for Arsenal.

The France international reportedly emerged as a target for Gunners boss Unai Emery a matter of days before the summer transfer window closed.

It was claimed the Spaniard turned his attention to signing the former Lyon man to alleviate the club’s defensive crisis.

A move for the 25-year-old, however, didn’t end up materialising and the north Londoners instead ended up signing David Luiz from their league rivals Chelsea for a fee of £8million.

The rumours of a summer switch to the Emirates were put to Umtiti during an interview with Canal Football Club, with the interviewer showing the defender a clip of his fellow countryman and former Lyon team-mate Alexandre Lacazette trying to convince him to join him in north London.

Umtiti immediately laughed at Lacazette’s plea for him to ditch Barca before revealing there was no truth to the reports of him potentially joining the Gunners.

“Honestly, I don’t know where this rumour with Arsenal came from,” the Frenchman said in response to the video.

“Overnight, I received messages from my friends saying, ‘Ah, so you are joining Arsenal?’ I’m not, I’m sorry but I’m staying at Barcelona.”

Umtiti has four years left on his contract at the Nou Camp and Barca have no intention of letting him leave the Catalan capital any time soon.

“He renewed him before the World Cup, he has four years left on his contract and there is no Umtiti issue,” Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu said of Umtiti during an interview with TVE.

“Now he has to recover from his injury as we want to have him in the best form possible. Having Umtiti and [Clement] Lenglet on the left [side of central defence] is a guarantee and I would like him to continue.”

Barcelona will be back in action on Saturday night, welcoming Valencia to the Nou Camp. Arsenal, meanwhile, will next take to the pitch on Sunday afternoon, travelling to Vicarage Road to face Watford.



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