Barcelona misfit Umtiti is Gunners boss Unai Emery’s preferred choice to bolster his backline next season.
But the France star, who is under contract until 2023, has asked Barca not to listen to offers for him because he wants to stay at the Nou Camp.
Umtiti would also swallow up most of Emery’s transfer budget as he only has less than £50m to spend after losing the Europa League final.
Arsenal have a list of other options to pursue as they search for a defender – and watched RB Leipzig centre back Upamecano on Monday night.
The highly-rated 20-year-old, part of the Bundesliga’s meanest defence last season, played 71 minutes for France’s Under 21s as they beat Belgium 3-0 in Le Mans.
Upamecano is under contract until 2021 and has been offered a new deal by Leipzig but is yet to sign it and could be tempted by the lure of the Premier League.
Arsenal’s scouting mission comes as:
“Unai Emery wants Samuel Utititi -”
But he would be giving up Champions League football with the Germans next season to join the Gunners, who will be back in the Europa League instead.
Arsenal are also looking at Sampdoria centre back Joachim Andersen, who is rated at £25m and would represent a cheaper alternative than either Umtiti or Upamecano.
Emery has less than £50m to spend on new signings this summer unless he can shift some of the dead wood at the club.
Stephan Lichtsteiner has already been allowed to go, while Laurent Koscielny is also likely to leave.
Shkodran Mustafi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s futures are also unclear.
Arsenal would listen to offers for Mesut Ozil in a bid to get his massive wages off the books but the former World Cup winner has yet to attract any serious interest.
But while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has interest from China, the Gunners are determined to resist any offers for the 29-year-old.
Aubameyang has two years left on his contract but is in line for an extension after a stellar season in which he finished joint top scorer in the Premier League.