Umtiti entered this season on the back of a World Cup triumph with France last summer and was expected to kick on in Barcelona colours after a promising first two seasons at the club, having joined from Lyon in 2016.
However, injuries – he’s made only 10 appearances for Barcelona this year thanks to a recurring knee issue – have curtailed his progress and allowed his compatriot, Clement Lenglet, to emerge as the preferred partner for veteran defender Gerard Pique. And with Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt being targeted as a summer arrival and a deal for Toulouse’s Jean-Clair Todibo to join already agreed, Umtiti may be left as the third-choice or even fourth-choice centre-back at the club. A move away could be the only way to guarantee regular playing time.
United are said to be interested as they look to recruit defensive reinforcements as part of a squad overhaul this summer, though with Umtiti’s availability on the transfer market they may prioritise other players, having been linked with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Benfica’s Ruben Dias, and Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld in recent weeks.
Though Umtiti has a €500million release clause in his Barcelona contract, a starting offer of around €70million would be a good starting point for negotiations, though the club are in no pressure to sell the Frenchman given that his contract runs until 2023.
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