Forget Jones and Smalling – This £53m-rated La Liga beast could be rock solid for Manchester United

Forget Jones and Smalling – This £53m-rated La Liga beast could be rock solid for Manchester United

Manchester United have been interested in a move for Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti for the longest time now and if latest reports are to believed, they are edging closer to a sensational summer deal for the talented centre-back. It will prove to be a costly affair since the player is estimated to be worth about £53million.

However, Jose Mourinho has been targetting Umtiti since last summer and the upcoming transfer window will present him with a good opportunity to sign Umtiti.

The Catalan club have initiated talks of a new contract with the player even though his current deal runs until 2021. They were looking to improve his terms to ensure he stays beyond this summer but are yet to reach a conclusion and there has been quite a delay in the process.

If they fail to tie him down to a new deal by the end of the season, there is absolutely no doubt that Mourinho will go all in to land him. The Portuguese gaffer will face competition from other clubs as well but considering the requirement at Old Trafford, it has become imperative for Mourinho to ensure Umtiti signs for United.

For a team that relies so much on defence-oriented performances, United’s centre-backs have mostly been in and out of the team due to injuries and what not.

Eric Bailly made an appearance only recently after an extended spell on the sidelines and although Phil Jones has struggled with fitness, he put up some solid displays whenever he was on the field. Meanwhile, Chris Smalling has been just decent – not too good and not too bad – but his performances are usually quite nervy.

In addition to that, Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind have attracted attention from other clubs and are both expected to leave this summer. That leaves Marcos Rojo and United are yet to offer him a new contract. Thus, it is a very dicey situation as far as centre-back is concerned, thus making a move for Umtiti seem like the need of the hour. As far as skills go, the 24-year-old has been rock-solid for Barcelona and is known to be very consistent and reliable.

Hence, this is a deal United must actively pursue. Umtiti is a force to be reckoned with and he can add so much value to the club’s defence. As they try to launch a serious title challenge next season, it will be necessary for Mourinho’s men to build a strong foundation at the back and to that end, Umtiti will certainly prove to be a solid new addition.

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Written by Meghna Sengupta

Editor @ Soccersouls. Lives in Chennai, and a Manchester United fan.
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