The Frenchman underwent surgery at the backend of last year (Picture: Getty)Arsenal’s pursuit of Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti could be over before it began, with the club concerned about spending so much money on a player with serious knee problems.
The Gunners have been linked with a £60m move for the World Cup winner, with Barca reportedly prepared to let Umtiti leave so they can bring in Ajax sensation Matthijs de Ligt instead.
Emery has made signing a new centre-back his top priority in the summer as he eyes a title challenge next season, and Umtiti’s pedigree ticks a lot of boxes.
Emery wants to strengthen his defence and Umtiti fits the bill (Picture: Getty)However, Football London report that there are serious reservations about potentially breaking the club’s transfer record to sign a player who has missed 27 matches this season with a knee injury.
Since lifting the World Cup in Russia, the Frenchman has made just nine appearances in La Liga and underwent conservative treatment on his left knee in Qatar in December.
He made his return to training, and competitive action, several months later, but Barca remain concerned by the state of his knee – which is why they would be prepared to let him leave.
Umtiti has complained about issues with his left knee since last season and examinations revealed he has loose cartilage, an issue that usually affects older players and which forced Carles Puyol to retire.
Umtiti chose not to have surgery and has instead undergone conservative treatment (Getty)He opted to avoid surgery and worked on strengthening his quads and surrounding muscles around the knee.
However, if the pain and problems persist, surgery will be the only option, and Arsenal and Emery are reluctant, therefore, to spend such a large chuck of their budget on a high-risk player – and he might not even pass a medical anyway.
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