Manchester United target Samuel Umtiti is on the verge of joining Juventus from Barcelona, according to reports in Spain.
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.
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.
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.