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Laurent Koscielny is seriously considering leaving Arsenal as the Gunners are eyeing up a £44m deal for Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti – but will only be able to afford him if they win the Europa League.
Koscielny has 12 months to run on his existing deal at the Emirates but he’s been discouraged by the lack of progress in negotiations over an extension.
Manager Unai Emery is trying to add reinforcements to his back line this summer, but is unable to do so until he learns whether or not the Gunners will be playing Champions League football next season.
Umtiti is currently a backup in the Barcelona team behind Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet, and he could fall further down the pecking order should the Catalans complete the signing of Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax.
Barcelona would therefore be likely to accept a bid of around £50m for Umtiti, but Arsenal will only be able to spend that kind of money if they triumph over Chelsea in the Europa League final next week and thus qualify for the Champions League.
The report claims Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi is the driving force behind the move and is keen to recruit the defender.
Umtiti’s agent recently admitted the defender is thinking about leaving Barcelona and says he will meet with club representatives at the end of the season to discuss a move.
‘We will take some thinking time, we will meet with the club at the end of the season,’ said Umtiti’s agent.
‘He will also make up his own mind.’