Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti is ‘tempted’ by a move to Manchester United according to reports in Spain.
The defender is one of a number of targets for United, who are looking to bolster their central defensive options, with the futures of Phil Jones, Daley Blind and Victor Lindelof all unknown.
Phil Jones’ form has been as up-and-down as his injury record, while Daley Blind has hardly featured under Jose Mourinho in the last two years and has been linked with a return to Ajax. Last summer’s £30 million signing Victor Lindelof has failed to make an impact and could also be offloaded, leaving just Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo.
United have been linked to the likes of Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and Spurs’ Toby Alderweireld as options to boost their defence, but it is thought that Umtiti could be the ideal partner for current first choice centre-back Bailly who has recently returned from injury.
According to Catalan newspaper Sport, Umtiti is considering leaving Barcelona after the Spanish champions elect have refused to meet his wage demands,something that Manchester United are more than willing to do for the young Frenchman.
Despite Barcelona being desperate to keep Umtiti at the Camp Nou, they could be powerless to do so, considering the €60 million (£54m) release clause in his contract.
It is claimed that United are willing to pay the defender the €9 million-a-year (£170,000-a-week) that he wants, with Jose Mourinho personally making a phone call to Umtiti in order pursuade him to move to Old Trafford.
The article claims Barcelona officials believe that ‘Umtiti is closer and closer to leaving with the Red Devils pushing hardest for him.’