Manchester United dealt transfer blow with Samuel Umtiti set to join Juventus after ‘they agree pact with Barcelona’
- Manchester United have been in hot pursuit of Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti
- However, according to reports, Juventus have won the race to sign Umtiti
- The Frenchman has formed a strong partnership with Barcelona in defence
Umtiti, who joined the Nou Camp from Lyon in 2016, has formed a strong centre-back partnership with Gerard Pique for the Catalan giants, which has led to increased interest from United.
However, according to Diario AS, Serie A giants Juventus have an agreement in place to sign Umtiti, which will free up the path for Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt to join the Catalan giants.
Samuel Umtiti is set to join Juventus in the summer, according to reports from Spain
The 25-year-old, who has been on the sidelines for five months this season due to a knee injury, has become one of the most formidable centre-backs in world football.
Clement Lenglet’s emergence this season and the pursuit of De Ligt has put doubts over Umtiti’s future at Barcelona, who reportedly need to raise funds from selling first-team players this summer.
And this will come as a big blow to the Red Devils as they look to make a statement signing at the back as they aim to cut the gap between them and Premier League title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.
Jose Mourinho was desperate to bring in a centre-back last summer, with the likes of Toby Alderweireld, Harry Maguire and Jerome Boateng all on their radar.
However, United’s efforts were in vain and they were left empty-handed.
This will come as a blow to Manchester United, who were in hot pursuit of the centre-back
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer knows he needs a new central defender this summer, with Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones his only four main men in the heart of the defence.
United have leaked the most goals so far this season out of their ‘big six’ opponents, conceding 44 – 24 more than arch rivals Liverpool.
United sit fifth in the Premier League, two points off top-four rivals Chelsea but with a game in hand in the race for a Champions League spot.
But before they turn their attentions back to the Premier League, United in fact face Barcelona and Umtiti in the Champions League.
Umtiti was an unused substitute during Barcelona’s 1-0 victory away at Old Trafford in the first-leg of the Champions League quarter-final.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be looking to sign a central defender in the summer transfer window