Barcelona centre back Samuel Umtiti and Bayern Munich full back David Alaba have been named as Arsenal top summer transfer targets, according to one report.
The Gunners are in the hunt for a top four finish in the Premier League and Europa League glory in Unai Emery’s first season at the Emirates Stadium. However, changes are expected this summer, especially in defence, as the club look to add quality and youth to an error-prone and ageing backline.
According to an eyebrow-raising report from the Independent, Umtiti and Alaba head a transfer list wish list, with the club keen to make as many as five deals this summer.
While a World Cup winner and just 25 years old, Umtiti has been tipped as a possibly summer casualty, if Barcelona complete a big-money move for Matthijs de Ligt. The Frenchman’s injury problems this season have restricted him to just nine appearances in La Liga and only 79 minutes in the Champions League in 2018/19.
Meanwhile, over at Bayern, the €80m arrival of Lucas Hernandez has raised some speculation over Alaba’s future in Munich. The Independent claims that while the Austrian would not be first out the door in a summer makeover, Bayern could be ‘open to talks’ if an offer came in.
Alaba also recently revealed his boyhood support for Arsenal, sparking fervour among Gunners fans.
While the signing of either player would represent a real coup for Arsenal, with Alaba and Umtiti considered among the very best in the world in their positions, the Independent’s report may need to be taken with a large pinch of salt.
Back in February it was reported that Arsenal would only have a summer spending pot of around £40m, as the club looks to balance the books amid a creaking wage bill.
With Alaba and Umtiti unlikely to be short of suitors should Bayern and Barça entertain the idea of a sale, either player would surely cost north of £40m alone (A report from Goal, puts Umtiti’s value at between €70-90m), meaning Arsenal would have to seriously adjust the budget or rethink their targets.