Man Utd ramp up efforts to sign World Cup winner as Barca sanction exit

Manchester United are prepared to make a “significant effort” to bring Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti to Old Trafford, according to reports.

Umtiti, a World Cup winner in 2018 with his native France, has been a solid addition for Barca since his arrival from Lyon in 2016.

However, since signing a new deal at the end of the 2017/18 campaign, the 26-year-old has been plagued by knee problems which have restricted his game time.

Indeed, the centre-back made only 15 appearances last term and has made 16 so far this time round.

According to Sport, Umtiti was placed on the transfer list last summer but his injury issues meant clubs were reluctant to approach with offers.

With the Frenchman slowly returning to full fitness this season, the source adds that Barca feel this summer would be their best opportunity to sell up.

On a wider scale, the Spanish giants have reportedly set themselves the target of raising €130million in profits from squad departures, with Umtiti’s exit likely to form a sizeable chunk of that figure.

Sport continues that while Umtiti has his suitors elsewhere in Europe, United are said to be seriously interested and would be willing to make a big bid for the defender.

The Red Devils are said to be looking for a top-class left-sided centre-back who can partner Harry Maguire at the back as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues his rebuild.

In other news, Bruno Fernandes has spoken of his delight after picking up the Premier League’s Player of the Month award for February.

Fernandes has had a stunning impact since his arrival in the top flight and has played a huge part in United’s upturn in form in recent weeks.

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