Manchester United know one area there they need to improve their depth is on the defensive end. The departure of Marcos Rojo and the consistent injury problems of Eric Bailly mean The Red Devils are quite thin when it comes to their centre-back depth.
With that in mind, the Old Trafford side already has a plan for the upcoming transfer window. According to recent reports, they are planning to make a ‘significant’ effort to sign Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti. On paper, making a move for Umtiti has a lot of sense. The Frenchman has been relegated to a secondary role at Barca this season, but he is good enough to start for almost any top team in the world.
For what is worth, the France international has struggled with knee injuries for almost two years. That could be a concern, but Manchester United are confident those issues could be a thing of the past. The former Lyon star finds himself behind Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet in the pecking order at the Nou Camp. The arrival of Quique Setien hasn’t changed that and, with that in mind, Umtiti has decided to leave the club this next summer.
Plus, Barcelona are forced to part ways with Umtiti…
This decision could be a blessing in disguise for Barca, though. Per reports, the Spanish giants need to raise £118million in player sales during the upcoming summer transfer window. In terms of potential transfer fees, Umtiti has to be one of the team’s most valuable assets alongside Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal.
Barcelona know they can get a hefty fee for Umtiti. He’s under contract until the end of the 2022-23 season and is only 26. He’s young enough to command a huge transfer fee. Plus, he has a track record that speaks for himself even considering his injury history.
If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gets his man, then he could form a stellar centre-back pairing of Umtiti and Harry Maguire. The former Leicester City star has impressed this season since coming from The Foxes. Parterning this two players would automatically give Manchester United one of the best defences in the entire European stage.
Everything will hinge on whether United decides to move forward with their interest, and if Umtiti accepts a Premier League switch. He already ruled out a move to Arsenal only a few months ago. Manchester United must avoid going through the same fate.