According to the Daily Mail, Premier League giants Manchester United have been keeping tabs on FC Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti and have stayed in touch with the player and his representatives over a probable move away from the Camp Nou in the summer.
United boss Jose Mourinho has been frustrated with the lack of quality in defence when he moved last season and despite roping in two centre-backs, he side still appear to be frail on the defensive third. To add to that, a number of his centre-backs have fallen prey to injuries, disrupting the Portuguese’s plans at the club.
Summer signing Victor Lindelof has not lived up to his billing as yet while last season’s acquisition Eric Bailly has battled several injuries during his brief spell at the club. Adding to that, the likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind have not impressed either, leaving Mourinho in desperate need for a replacement.
If reports are to be believed, he has identified Barca’s French defender Umtiti to bring the club out of a defensive crisis. The Frenchman shares a good relationship with his compatriots and United teammates Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba. It is understood that Mourinho is asking the two of them to get in touch with Umtiti and convince him to move to Old Trafford this summer.
The Frenchman would undoubtedly bolster the United defence and given the extravagant transfer prices floating around the rumour mill these days, his relatively modest buyout clause of £50 million could seem to be a bargain for the English giants.
They have watched rivals Manchester City loosen the purse strings in order to rope in quality defenders in all four positions and if they are to realistically challenge the Citizens for a league title next year, it is essential that they invest wisely in the departments that need improvements.
That being said, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is doing all he can to keep the player at the club and is also looking to offer him an extension to ward off suitors and ensure he remains the Camp Nou for the foreseeable future.