Arsenal boss Unai Emery has dropped a massive hint that he would approve of his club approaching Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti: “He’s a great player.”
The France international has missed five months of this season with a knee injury but is widely regarded as one of the finest defenders in world football.
A report in Diario Sport last week claimed the Blaugrana would be open to selling the defender to Manchester United this summer should a €70m offer come in, while Arsenal have also been linked.
“He is a great player,” Emery told RMC Sport, as cited by Diario Sport.
“France produces many players who have successful careers abroad and the players are developed in such a way to make it a very attractive market.
“I have always been able to count on these players during my times at Valencia, Sevilla, PSG and now here at Arsenal.”
The Cameroon-born defender, who joined from Lyon in 2016, has formed a formidable central defensive partnership with Gerard Pique at the Camp Nou.
However, the Blaugrana are keen on a deal for Ajax captain and central defender Matthijs de Ligt and reportedly need to raise funds in order to further first-team reinvestment.
The emergence of Clement Lenglet and the pursuit of de Ligt has clouded his future at Barca, who reportedly need to raise funds from first-team squad sales in order to add new signings.
The report in Sport claims there is a degree of tension between the player and the club, who no longer see him as indispensable and where a sale may be logical.
It follows on from a report in El Mundo Deportivo earlier in the week that a move to Old Trafford this summer is a possibility.
Umtiti signed a new contract at the Camp Nou in June 2018 until 2024 with a huge €500m release clause, but that could become irrelevant should the club need sales this summer.