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'He's a great player' - Emery hails Barcelona's Umtiti amid Arsenal transfer talk

16:06 EAT 08/04/2019
Samuel Umtiti Barcelona 2018-19
The Gunners manager has expressed his admiration for the France World Cup-winning centre-back, who is reportedly unsettled at the Camp Nou

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has heaped praise on Samuel Umtiti, labelling him a "great player", amid speculation the north London outfit could move for the Barcelona centre-back

As reported by Goal, Barca are willing to listen to offers for Umtiti this summer as they look to raise funds to sign Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt.

Umtiti has spent much of the season recovering from a knee injury and has fallen behind Clement Lenglet in the pecking order to partner Gerard Pique.

Arsenal have been one of the club's linked with the 25-year-old - along with Manchester United - and Emery has not been backward about expressing his admiration for him.

"He's a very good player," he told RMC Sport of the former Lyon man. "France has a lot of very good footballers who are playing abroad.

"The French league is a very attractive market for a lot of teams.

"I've always had French players in my teams. At Valencia, Sevilla, PSG and here at Arsenal.

"I've always been able to count on those players."

Another player who Emery is full of praise for is Mesut Ozil.

The midfielder had been linked with a move away from the Emirates amid disquiet in some quarters about his attitude and impact on the field.

And an act of petualance when the German threw his coat after being substituted in Sunday's 1-0 defeat at Everton, addied to speculation he is not happy at the club.

But his manager said: "He works very hard, plays really well and helps us a lot. I'm happy to have him."