ARSENAL “all-but agreed” a loan deal for Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti earlier this month, before an injury scuppered the move.
The 28-year-old fractured his toe in mid-January – which led to the North London move falling apart.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Umtiti joining the Gunners would have facilitated Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang going the other way.
The Gabon international was hoping to secure a deadline day loan move to Barcelona.
But a large part of the deal for Aubameyang could have been done a fortnight ago if Umtiti had not gotten injured.
This is because an Umtiti loan agreement would have “settled a large part of the market for all parties”.
The French centre-back has made 131 appearances for the Catalan giants since arriving from Lyon in 2016.
Earlier this month, Umtiti agreed to extend his Barcelona contract until 2026.
He took a pay cut which allowed Barca to register Ferran Torres in line with LaLiga’s financial fair play rules.
Meanwhile, following the breakdown of Umtiti’s move to Arsenal, Barca turned their attention away from Aubameyang for a while as they felt they could not afford his wages.
They looked at the possibility of signing Alvaro Morata – who plays for Juventus but is on loan at Juventus.
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But it soon became apparent that was not a viable option.
Barca then renewed their interest in Aubameyang as Arsenal desperately wanted him out.
However, reports have emerged that the deal has now collapsed.
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