David Alaba, Samuel Umtiti Transfers Targeted by Arsenal in Latest Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2019

MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 13: David Alaba of Bayern Muenchen controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Liverpool at Allianz Arena on March 13, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Arsenal's top targets for the summer transfer window are reportedly Bayern Munich's David Alaba and Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti. 

According to The Independent's Miguel Delaney, the club want to bring in the pair and three other recruits to help the team challenge for the Premier League title next season.

The Gunners are also said to believe that deals for both players are realistic, with Bayern in the middle of overhauling their squad, while Barca aim to recruit Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax despite already having Umtiti, Clement Lenglet and Gerard Pique at centre-back.

Bayern have already agreed deals to bring in Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard this summer. Both can play at centre-back, and they can also play at left-back and right-back, respectively.

Alaba is something of a utility man for the Bavarian club as he too can play in central defence, on the left or in midfield.

The 26-year-old recently said he is an Arsenal supporter, too, per Football.London's Charles Watts:

Charles Watts @charles_watts

David Alaba on his future plans: "I'm happy in Munich, but of course, I can imagine seeing something else. Spain, England. I was [an Arsenal fan as a child]. When you’ve been Arsenal fan as a kid, you will be one your whole life." What a flirt.... https://t.co/dPCdWLGjSG

The Austria international is a versatile, top-class player who's still in his prime, so he'd be an excellent addition to virtually any side in Europe.

Goal's Ronan Murphy does not believe Alaba will be among those let go at Bayern this summer in light of their impending arrivals, however:

Ronan Murphy @swearimnotpaul

With Pavard and Hernandez coming in, they have multiple options at LB, CB, and RB. Boateng is likely to leave, meaning Hummels and Süle would have been their only experienced centre-backs. Now they have two strong options at each position across the backline. #FCBayern

Football journalist Ben Hayward thinks the potential arrival of De Ligt at Barcelona could make Umtiti available, though:

Ben Hayward @bghayward

@Yaw_Speaks I think that if De Ligt arrives, Umtiti could well be sold yes...

The France international has established himself as one of the world's finest centre-backs since arriving at Barca in 2016, though he has missed most of this campaign with a knee injury.

Despite playing just twice for Barcelona in 2019, the 25-year-old impressed during the international break:

Squawka Football @Squawka

@Coral @OptaJean 100% pass accuracy 1 clean sheet 1 goal No wonder Samuel Umtiti was dancing again. https://t.co/gwp9mIzMXu

The Gunners have conceded 39 goals in the Premier League this season—only Manchester United have shipped more in the top seven—and Shkodran Mustafi in particular has failed to convince during his time at the Emirates Stadium.

Umtiti would be an enormous upgrade if Arsenal can secure his signature.