Chelsea and Arsenal are interested in signing Lyon defender Samuel Umtiti, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The Spanish news outlet acknowledges that Umtiti “has the priority to” move to La Liga giants Barcelona if a prospective transfer was to suit both parties, but they report that Chelsea have recently made an approach to the player’s agent.
Chelsea want to lure the 22-year-old France international to Stamford Bridge but face stiff competition from Barca, who could decide to move for the £20million-rated centre-back rather than pursuing a big-money move for PSG’s Marquinhos, Atletico Madrid’s Jose Maria Jimenez or Everton’s John Stones.
Umtiti told L’Equipe: “Barcelona is a club where every player wants to play.
“But I have a contract with Lyon as everyone knows and as we have done this season, the option to go to Barcelona is not present.
“Everyone is possible, both to stay and go. Honestly, for the moment, I am concentrating on the European Championship. I want to do the right thing and then we’ll talk with my club.”
Arsenal are also believed to be keeping track of Umtiiti, who has been linked with Tottenham and West Ham earlier this year, and who has been making steady progress through the France set-up having played at Under-17 level and all the way through to the senior side.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino admitted his scouts were tracking Umtiti, who claimed the interest was flattering, but then admitted a switch to La Liga was his preference.
“I watch all the leagues but I think that the Spanish league suits me the best, in terms of my qualities,” he told Telefoot last month.