Menu

Manchester United and Arsenal told £27 million will land French defender this summer – reports

Barcelona have reported made French central defender, Samuel Umtiti, a previous target for both Manchester United and Arsenal, available for just £27 million this summer, according to reports. Earlier this year, before the coronavirus pandemic, his valuation was £46 million, seeing a considerable drop by the Catalan club.

The La Liga giants financial situation has reportedly worsened, with every club around the world feeling the after effects of the pandemic, which could result in a sale of players who are considered not needed by the club, to balance the books so to speak. United have suffered too with a £28 million loss of their own because of the virus.

Spanish news source, Sport, has suggested the Catalan club will sell players this summer, some with reduced fees. It is thought that Barca want to use Umtiti to lower the fee paid to Inter Milan for forward target Lautaro Martinez, however, the Frenchman has not heard anything from the Serie A club, but has been told to expect contact.

This might be something that leave United and Arsenal high and dry, although the latter club seem to be more interested in Umtiti than United, as I think the Frenchman was a Jose Mourinho target, more than an Ole Gunnar Solskjaer target. United may need to new defender this summer though, especially if some of them leave the club.

It is expected that Chris Smalling will leave, as could Marcus Rojo and Phil Jones, who has been sparingly utilised so far this season. Saying that though, departures would create space for Axel Tuanzebe, who has spent his first season back at the club after a period of loan spells and Teden Mengi, who has been tipped to make his rise to the first team soon.

Solskjaer would probably be a fan of the latter option as the Norwegian manager wants to trust youth more, which is the road to success that Sir Alex Ferguson found and Solskjaer was a fan of his methods. Umtiti has been sidelined with a calf injury but has suffered many injuries at the Catalan club, making him seem injury prone – something United would not want.

Umtiti has made just 16 appearances for Barca this season, before the coronavirus pandemic suspended world football. For a 26-year-old France international, injury aside, I would expect him to play a lot more for the club. The player will be seeking a prominent role under new manager Quique Setien, who took over the club in January.

However, as he has been injured more often than not in his career at the Catalan club, especially this season, it could leave him with a lot of work to do in order to play himself into his manager’s plans for the remainder of the season, and into the future, if he does remain at the club past this summer, whenever the transfer window opens and closes.

My personal opinion is that United could do a lot better than spend dead money on Umtiti. A few years ago the player showed a lot of promise, but now, he has a lot to prove, which could go against him. I would much rather see Solskjaer trim the squad and give chances to youth players, Tuanzebe first and maybe Mengi, if he is needed in the squad.

Samuel Umtiti confirms Manchester United interest but seems happy to remain at Barcelona this summer

Manchester United target Samuel Umtiti has confirmed the interest shown by the Old Trafford club ahead of the summer transfer window, stating that he is happy at Barcelona. The French defender has a £52 million buyout clause in his current contract and over the past few weeks, it has led to speculation suggesting the Catalan club were sweating as to whether the player would remain at Barcelona this summer.

The 24-year-old was linked to the Old Trafford club with the reports that manager Jose Mourinho was seeking a central defender to partner Eric Bailly, which would add some steel to his back line ahead of the new season. Umtiti is not the only player to be linked to the club though. After returning from the international break with France, Umtiti has told Canal FC, which was reported by The Sun, about the interest, saying:

“It’s not only Manchester United. Other clubs want me as well, but my sole focus is on Barcelona.

“It was my dream to play at Barca. And I achieved it when I was just 22. I’m very happy here, whenever I play and whenever I train. Negotiations for a contract renewal have not started yet.

Manchester United closing in on Barcelona defender ahead of summer transfer window

Manchester United are reportedly closing in on Barcelona central defender Samuel Umtiti ahead of the biggest transfer window for manager Jose Mourinho. Umtiti has been linked to United in the media for a number of months now, which seems to have been click bait. Recent reports from Catalan daily, Sport seem to add a little more to the rumours.

Umtiti has a buyout clause with is reportedly £52 million, which for an international seems to be a good fee, especially in the fact that Virgin van Dijk cost Liverpool £75 million during the January transfer window. Umtiti is not on the same level as Van Dijk yet though – but the fee is still a decent price for a player of his calibre.

It is reported that Barcelona see Umtiti as a crucial player to rejuvenate their starting XI heading into the future but the Catalan club is refusing to meet the player’s demands which would make his the club’s second-highest paid player, just behind Lionel Messi.

The 24-year-old wants to see himself earn the parity that the likes of Messi, Luis Suarez, and Andres Iniesta have at the club but the Barcelona board refuse to accept it at this time. It is reported that United are willing to pay the £52 million buyout clause, something the Old Trafford club can afford to do, also pay him in the region of £175,000 per week, which is something they can afford too.

It is stated that Barcelona feel that they may be fighting a losing battle with Umtiti, also growing unhappy with the stance of his agent and brother, Yannick Umtiti. Umtiti’s current contract will expire in the summer of 2021 and Barcelona start negotiations two-years before the expiry, meaning they have started this with three years remaining, suggesting they don’t want to lose the player.

The £52 million buyout clause is considered as ‘reasonable’ in the current market and United, amongst other clubs, would find it easy to part with such a substantial fee for the French international, who is playing to the best of his abilities and development at this current time.

United will be seeking new defensive players ahead of the transfer window this summer with the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, and Daley Blind tipped for departure. Smalling and Jones have both been linked to Everton recently, with Blind wanting to leave in January but Jose Mourinho refused to weaken the defence for the remainder of the season, which would have been a gamble.

It is possible that Mourinho could adopt a 3-5-2 variation formation next season, using three central defensive players at the back, two wing-backs, his midfield and attacking players, which has been used by Chelsea for the last two seasons, and other clubs. United have played in similar formations this season, not utilising it since Jones, Blind and Marcos Rojo have been on the sidelines.

Rojo signed a new contract weeks ago and with Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly, another talented central defender could give Mourinho a strong defence, which may see him use formations that attack more, worrying about the strength at the back with players who just do not seem able to play to their strengths.

Umtiti could be that fourth strong central defender, and whether it sees the likes of Smalling, Jones, and Blind leave in the summer, or just one or two of them, it will still mean that United’s defence will be much stronger and perhaps United’s attacking will benefit a little bit more. A strong defence added to a strong attack will leave United in a better position to challenge for titles.

copyright: JW