Barcelona are reportedly considering the sale of defender Samuel Umtiti to Manchester United in the summer transfer window.
As per a report from Daily Mail, La Liga champions Barcelona are open to the sale of defensive mainstay Samuel Umtiti, who has emerged as a transfer target for Premier League heavyweights Manchester United.
Barcelona have their eyes firmly set on Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, who they regard as the long-term heir to Gerard Pique. To that end, the Catalans are set to step up their interest in the Netherlands international by opening talks with the Dutch outfit.
As per the report, Ajax are demanding a transfer fee of €85 million from Barcelona, same as what they paid for midfield sensation Frenkie de Jong, along with a fee for the player’s agent Mino Raiola. And in order to secure sufficient funds for his signing, the Blaugrana will have to offload a few players in the summer transfer window.
Umtiti has fallen behind compatriot Clement Lenglet in the pecking order this season owing to his injury troubles. The 25-year-old missed over three months of action due to a recurring problem in his left knee, although he opted not to undergo a surgery. And Barcelona, according to the report, are open to listen to offers for the Frenchman.
This will come as a huge boost for Manchester United, who are reported to have been monitoring Umtiti’s situation closely in recent weeks. The report from Daily Mail claims that the Premier League giants scouted the defender in France’s UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier tie against Iceland on Monday.
The Red Devils’ defence has been performing below par this season, barring the solid Victor Lindelof, who also has had brief spells of inconsistencies. And with Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo facing uncertain futures at the club, a new centre-back might be on top of the club’s shopping list.
Manchester United have been linked with a host of defenders since last summer and while the club failed to bring in any defensive reinforcements in the last two windows, a centre-back would be a key addition to the ranks for the club as they look forward to challenging the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title.
Umtiti, despite the injury-ridden 2018-19 season, is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in Europe. The 25-year-old played an integral role in Barcelona’s La Liga triumph last season and was an even-present in the backline for France, as they went on to lift the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
While there will be concerns due to his recent tryst with injuries, his signing would be a major boost for Manchester United, given his experience and the winning mentality that he will bring to the table.
However, it remains to be seen if Barcelona do actually sanction the sale of the 25-year-old, with the report claiming that the rest of the squad would oppose the sale of a teammate who they consider to be a key player.