Arsenal transfer news: PSG’s Presnel Kimpembe and Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti remain defensive targets

We round-up the latest Arsenal transfer news and rumours at Friday lunchtime

Tom Kershaw
Friday 21 June 2019 12:44 BST
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Arsenal‘s transfer activity has turned its crosshairs firmly on centre-backs with Unai Emery eying up French World Cup-winning centre-backs Samuel Umtiti and Presnel Kimpembe as potential candidates to reinforce his leaky defence.

Emery worked with Kimpembe at PSG and is very keen to reunite with the 23-year-old, according to Le 10 Sport. PSG are hoping to secure the signature of Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt which would make room for Kimpembe’s departure after a turbulent season with the French champions. However, PSG would demand a price in the region of £35m, which would virtually wipe out the entirety of Arsenal’s summer transfer budget.

Umtiti has long been eyed by the Gunners, but the 25-year-old’s price tag would outmatch that of Kimpembe’s meaning any move is unlikely, despite Barcelona’s willingness to sell the defender if their asking price is met.

The signing of 18-year-old centre-back William Saliba is expected to be completed from Saint-Etienne in the coming days. Arsenal have been wrangling over a fee for the highly touted defender, however, the blow to the Gunners’ budget may be softened by allowing Saliba to return to the Ligue 1 side on loan for a year.

Meanwhile, Torino’s Armando Izzo has emerged as another defensive target with the player’s agent reportedly arriving in London today, according to Tutto Mercato Web. The 27-year-old could provide a cut-price alternative and impressed after leaving Genoa last summer, winning his first Italian cap in the process.

Real Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez has emerged as a target to bolster Arsenal’s offence, according to Mundo Deportivo. The Spanish giants are open to selling industrial winger as part over Zinedine Zidane’s summer overhaul having completed the signing of Eden Hazard.

However, the Gunners’ pursuit of Yannick Carrasco and Ryan Fraser have both stalled after failing to agree transfer fees with Dalian Yifang and Bournemouth respectively.

Red Bull Salzburg’s teenage starlet Dominik Szoboszlai is another winger being targeted, after ending the season with 11 goals and 10 assists, although both Juventus and Borussia Dortmund are interested.

Emery is keen to reunite with Presnel Kimpembe (Getty)

On the outgoing front, Lucas Torreira‘s comments about not enjoying life in London has sparked further interest from Italy for his signature with both AC Milan and Napoli keen on the Uruguayan.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid’s interest in Granit Xhaka appears to have ended after the Spanish club confirmed the signing of Marcos Llorente from rivals Real Madrid.

Carl Jenkinson has emerged as a target for West Brom, while Eddie Nketiah is expected to be allowed to leave on loan next season to aid his development with Augsburg, Bristol City and Charlton among the clubs interest according to The Sun.

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