Chelsea leading the race for in-demand Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti
Spanish giants FC Barcelona are set to let Samuel Umtiti leave the club in the summer if reports in England are to be believed. It is claimed that Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea are all on red alert with the World Cup winning defender becoming available.
According to reports in Spain, the defender could be available for a fee between as little as £26 million and £35 million when the transfer window reopens. Barcelona are looking to raise funds for big reinforcements in the summer and for that, they are looking to sell some players who can bring them decent money.
Umtiti joined the Catalan giants from Lyon in 2016 and since then has won the league-and-cup double twice in Spain. He was also a key part of the France squad that won the World Cup in 2018.
But his game time has been limited due to recurring injury problems and the competition to partner Gerard Pique from fellow French center-back Clement Lenglet.
It is claimed that Umtiti would prefer a move to Chelsea ahead of Arsenal and Manchester United. However, the Blues are said to be looking at Lille's Gabriel Magalhaes, who is four years younger than the Frenchman.
Arsenal were interested in making a deal happen in the January transfer window but opted to sign Pablo Mari on loan instead. Mari is expected to join the Gunners on a permanent deal in the summer, with William Saliba also set to return from his loan at Saint-Etienne.
The North London giants have also been linked with young RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano. The Gunners are also keen on Gabriel Magalhaes, Dejan Lovren and unsettled veteran Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng.
Meanwhile, Manchester United have also been offered the chance to sign the 26-year-old French defender. The Red Devils are also looking to bolster their options at the heart of the defence but their preferred choice is Napoli center-back Kalidou Koulibaly.
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