Manchester United have apparently inquired about the future of their long-term transfer target Samuel Umtiti at Barcelona.
The France international has been the subject of much speculation throughout the transfer window so far, being most notably linked with a move away from the club as Barcelona looked to sign Ajax sensation Matthijs de Ligt.
The Dutchman now appears to be off to Juventus after agreeing personal terms with the Turin-based club, but Barcelona’s Umtiti is claimed to be emerging as a transfer target for long-term suitors Manchester United.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has asked about Umtiti’s availability ahead of the 2019/20 season, something which has come as a reaction to the news that Barcelona were interested in signing Victor Lindelöf.
United have been heavily linked with a move for Umtiti in the past during his days at Lyon, and while the Red Devils are in the market for a new centre back, it’s unknown how much of this latest story is simply a reaction to Lindelöf being eyed up by Barça.
Officially, Barcelona are not entertaining the idea of selling Umtiti this summer as he’s still seen as a vital part of the club’s long-term plans.
Behind the scenes, however, MD claim that there are genuine concerns over the 25-year-old’s physicality, having already seen Umtiti miss large chunks of his three-year spell in Catalonia due to injuries, specifically relating to a knee problem last season.
As things stand, Barcelona are currently planning for the new season with four centre-backs in mind: Gerard Piqué, Clément Lenglet, Umtiti and Jean-Clair Todibo – though the latter could be loaned out depending on his performances in pre-season.
But any new incomings, either de Ligt or Lindelöf being among them, could see Barcelona soften their stance on Umtiti as they’ll look to balance the books this summer, having already spent €87m to sign Frenkie de Jong (Ajax) and Emerson (Atlético Mineiro), while a deal for Antoine Griezmann seems imminent.