Manchester United and Arsenal to ‘fight’ over Umtiti

Manchester United and Arsenal are set to ‘fight’ for the signature of Barcelona star Samuel Umtiti according to reports in Spain.

The French international has been linked with an exit from the Nou Camp this summer, having fallen behind compatriot Clement Lenglet in the pecking order under Ernesto Valverde.

The Spanish champions are also desperate to raise funds to finance big-money moves for Antoine Griezmann and Neymar, and could look to sell the centre-back who joined in a €25m deal from Lyon in 2016.

According to Sport, Premier League rivals Manchester United and Arsenal will battle for his signing, with Barcelona likely to seek a fee in the region of £50m for the 25-year-old.

Both sides are desperate to strengthen their centre-back options, having seen familiar defensive frailties exposed last season. Manchester United conceded a record 54 goals last season, and have since been linked with a £70m move for England international Harry Maguire, though could seek alternative targets with Leicester demanding a world-record £80-90m fee for the defender.

Arsenal‘s transfer budget is restricted to a reported £45m this summer having failed to secure qualification for the Champions League for a third successive season, however, Unai Emery’s side are monitoring Umtiti’s situation and will make a move if they can raise enough funds through player sales.

The Premier League duo are likely to face serious competition for the World Cup winner, with Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain also said to be amongst a host of Europe’s leading clubs interested in the defender.

‘No comment’ – Zaha refuses to discuss potential Arsenal transfer

See also – Five of Manchester United’s most disastrous signings of the post Ferguson era