Manchester United are reportedly eyeing a summer move for Samuel Umtiti, with Barcelona prepared to offload the Frenchman ahead of next season.
As per a report from Spanish publication Sport, La Liga giants Barcelona are ready to sell defender Samuel Umtiti in the upcoming summer transfer window with Manchester United taking an interest in the French World Cup winner.
Umtiti joined Barcelona from French club Olympique Lyon in 2016 for €25 million. The 26-year-old quickly became a key member of the team, establishing himself as Gerard Pique’s partner at the heart of the Catalans’ defence.
However, over the past couple of seasons, Umtiti has found himself behind compatriot Clement Lenglet in the pecking order, with recurring knee injuries holding him back. Things have improved for the 2018 World Cup winner under new Barcelona boss Quique Setien though, with him getting regular playing time.
But, Barcelona are intent on offloading Umtiti before next season as they look to generate profits to fund their future projects. And this development has reportedly put Manchester United on high-alert, with the Premier League heavyweights considering a summer move for the Frenchman.
This is not the first time that Manchester United have been linked with Umtiti. The Red Devils were credited with serious interest in the 26-year-old last summer as well, but were discouraged by his injury problems. Instead, they ended up spending heavily on Harry Maguire, who has now become the club captain.
Victor Lindelof has forged a solid partnership alongside Maguire and Eric Bailly has shown signs of brilliance since returning from injury. Moreover, with Axel Tuanzebe’s emergence as a reliable option at the back, Manchester United might not be in need of a new centre-back heading into the next season.
However, with Chris Smalling likely to depart permanently next season and Phil Jones also likely to be offloaded, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could look to bring in another defender to bolster his options at the back, leading to the interest in Umtiti.
The 26-year-old, who has featured 16 times in the ongoing campaign, is contracted with Barcelona till 2023. However, his time at Camp Nou seems to be nearing an end. It now remains to be seen if Manchester United do launch a move for Umtiti in the summer transfer window or decide to focus on strengthening the squad in other areas.