Samuel Umtiti responds to Arsenal transfer speculation
FC Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti reacts to reports linking him with a move to Arsenal during the summer
Samuel Umtiti says he has no idea why he as linked with a move to Arsenal during the summer transfer window.
The France international was touted as a potential target for the north London side during the summer months.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery was linked with a host of centre-halves as the Spanish head coach looked to improve his back four.
Ultimately, Umtiti remained at La Liga champions FC Barcelona in spite of the transfer speculation.
Emery ended up signing Chelsea FC centre-half David Luiz in an £8m deal in a shock transfer swoop on deadline day.
Arsenal also recruited Saint-Etienne teenager William Saliba in a big-money deal, proving that the club have one eye on the future.
Asked about the link with Arsenal during a sit-down interview with Canal Football Club on Sunday, Umtiti admitted his bemusement at the transfer talk.
“Honestly, I don’t know where this rumour with Arsenal came from,” Umtiti is quoted as saying by Metro in that interview.
“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’.”
He added: “To be honest, I don’t know if they had conversations with my agent, I just told him that I didn’t care what was happening this summer and that it wasn’t even necessary to talk to me about it.
“It was useless, I was going to have the same answer. My dream as a child is to play for Barcelona. Last season was the most difficult of my career, especially in terms of injuries.”
Arsenal may have signed Luiz in a cut-price deal but the Gunners are still having issues at the back.
The north London side have conceded six times in four games so far.
Luiz was responsible for two of Liverpool FC’s three goals in a 3-1 loss at Anfield last month.
Arsenal will return to Premier League action with a trip to Watford on Sunday afternoon.
Emery’s side are in fifth spot in the table.