Manchester United have been in the market for a central defender for a number of seasons, and according to a report by Cuatro, if their hunt for Real Madrid defender Raphaël Varane is not economically feasible, they will look towards Barcelona center-back Samuel Umtiti.
The Los Blancos defender looks closer to leaving than staying in Madrid this summer, with there being no particular efforts from club leadership to get the Frenchman to renew his contract.
That said, Real Madrid are still setting a whopping 85 million Euro value on the world-cup winner, a price that the Red Devils are reportedly unwilling to pay, considering the massive amount that was already spent on bringing in Harry Maguire.
The English club may, therefore, look towards Real’s rivals in FC Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti as a cheaper option. The 27-year-old has clearly fallen far below in Ronald Koeman’s pecking order for center-backs despite an otherwise promising start to his Barcelona career after his arrival in 2016.
With Clément Lenglet finding form recently alongside Óscar Mingueza and Ronald Araújo having shown tremendous promise this season (the former of whom has renewed his contract at the Catalan club), the Frenchman’s prospects at Barcelona look desperately limited.
La Blaugrana put up an especially mediocre performance against Granada on Thursday, completely missing the chance to go on top of the table for the first time this season. The match featured a start from Samuel Umtiti, whose performance was subpar, to say the least.
Considering Piqué’s return from injury as well as the near-guaranteed arrival of Eric García in the summer, Koeman will find himself with a well-enforced roster for the center-back position, but it’s clear that the Frenchman falls at the very bottom of it.
Fully cognisant of the 27-year-old’s obsolete role in the squad, Laporta is reportedly very open to the idea of Umtiti’s departure from the squad, even if United end up finding an agreement with Real Madrid for their French center-back.
Even then, there are rumours that Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg are interested in him and have made an offer for the Frenchman, although he has an overwhelming preference to play in the Premier League.