News has broken, originally from Sport in Spain, that Jose Mourinho is working hard to sign Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona. The French defender was signed for just £22m in 2016 in a deal that now looks a steal. Umtiti plays an important role for Barcelona and the French national team as an athletic, left-sided centre-back. At 24 years of age, he will continue to improve. Umtiti is part of the young pool of French talent that is tipped to take the world by storm along with Pogba and Martial who could entice the Barcelona star’s decision.
A sign of his progress is illustrated in the departure of Javier Mascherano who occupied that position at Barcelona for more than 7 seasons. If reports are to be believed Umtiti’s release clause is catching the eye elite clubs around the world, especially Manchester United. The release-clause is believed to be around £50m and according to Sport, Samuel’s brother Yanick has stated that United are in ‘constant talks’ with the player.
The central defender position has troubled Manchester United since the partnership of Ferdinand and Vidic ended in 2014. Even in Mourinho’s short United career so far the role has caused concern. Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and £31m signing Victor Lindelof have all failed to hold down the spot. There is certainly talent there, but injuries and a lack of confidence have weakened the side. Umtiti would be a valuable player for Mourinho’s side and could strike up an impressive partnership with Eric Bailly.
Umtiti is part of the young pool of French talent that is tipped to take the world by storm along with Pogba and Martial who could entice the Barcelona star’s decision.
Similar to the deal that brought Virgil Van Dijk to Liverpool, I believe that even a large fee would represent good business for Umtiti due to the player’s ability and United’s need for a commanding centre-back.