As the days go by and the hopes of seeing Matthijs de Ligt wearing a Manchester United or Barcelona jersey slowly vanish, the two European giants have gotten to work to find good alternatives for the Dutch wonderkid, who is set to join Juventus, according to reports.
Curiously, now it looks like the two sides will have to do business in the end, as they both have been linked with each other’s players in recent times, but now those rumors might be coming to fruition seeing how desperate they are to find quality defenders before the start of the season.
For instance, Manchester United have apparently been inquiring about the future of their long-term transfer target Samuel Umtiti with the Blaugrana. The center-back has had a summer surrounded by speculation and rumors about his future following the links of Barcelona and Matthijs de Ligt. Even though he has stated his desire to continue with the Blaugrana, perhaps he’s living his last days at Camp Nou.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the Red Devils have asked about Umtiti's availability ahead of the upcoming season, something that has come as a reaction to recent reports suggesting that Barcelona were interested in signing United’s figure Victor Lindelof.
It’s well known that United have been linked with a move for Umtiti in the past, but, even if they actually are in the market for a new center-back, it remains unclear if their interest in the Frenchman is legit or they are only reacting to Barcelona’s interest in Lindelof.
As far as we know, the Catalonians aren’t interested in letting Umtiti go this summer, as he is expected to be part of the team’s plans next season.
But, Mundo Deportivo claims that Samuel’s health is a big concern for the Spaniards, given that he has missed considerable time during his three-year spell in Catalonia due to injuries. However, the team is preparing for next season with four center-backs within the ranks: Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Umtiti, and Jean-Clair Todibo.
Still, if something new happens regarding de Ligt or Lindelof, perhaps Barcelona would see the sell of Umtiti with different eyes, trying to balance their finances. They already spent €87 million to sign the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Emerson, while a deal for Antoine Griezmann looks closer every day.