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Barcelona open to sale of defender Samuel Umtiti

France and Barcelona star Samuel Umtiti

Bengaluru, March 17: Both Manchester United and Manchester City are on red alert as Barcelona consider selling Samuel Umtiti, according to reports in Spain.

It is understood the Catalan giants are willing to listen to offers for the French centre-back.

The former Lyon stopper has only just returned to full fitness after a lengthy spell out due to a knee injury although he was included in Didier Deschamps' latest French squad ahead of team-mate Clement Lenglet and Manchester City's Aymeric Laporte.

According to reports, Barcelona may let the star go despite paying Lyon £20.4million for him less than three years ago as the Catalans are considering a move for Ajax prodigy Matthijs de Ligt.

The 19-year-old Dutch star has captained his club this season and was one of the standout performers when they dumped Real Madrid out of the Champions League.

And after already securing Frenkie de Jong's services from next season, they will no doubt be keen to bring in his team-mate.

But with Gerard Pique, Lenglet, Jeison Murillo and Jean-Clair Todibo at the club as well as veteran Thomas Vermaelen, Barcelona may need to offload first and Umtiti may be the man sacrificed.

One club's loss would be another's gain and there would be no shortage of sides interested in the World Cup winner.

Umtiti is understood to "like" both Manchester clubs and would be "interested" in a move.

Both teams are in need of a new centre-back, with Manchester City forced to play the likes of Danilo and Fernandinho there in recent weeks, while United missed out on a number of targets last summer. And if he did head to Manchester, Umtiti would have no problems settling in.

At the Etihad, international team-mate Benjamin Mendy would make him feel welcome while fellow defenders Laporte and Eliaquim Mangala are also French.

Across town at Old Trafford, meanwhile, are the duo of Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial.

Manchester City could be hit by a transfer ban as per reports which could scupper their chances of landing the Frenchman and it would surely be a boost for their local rivals.

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    Story first published: Sunday, March 17, 2019, 12:45 [IST]
    Other articles published on Mar 17, 2019
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