Arsenal, Man United target Barcelona defender Umtiti

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Barcelona center-back Samuel Umtiti has attracted interest from English clubs Arsenal and Manchester United. According to sources, the two clubs are considering making offers for the defender. The Frenchman is on the transfer list as the Spanish giants look to reduce their wage bill.

Umtiti turned down an offer to terminate his contract at Camp Nou in exchange for a severance package.

Arsenal are in the market for a center-back following a decision against extending David Luiz’s contract. William Saliba looks to be departing on yet another loan, while the Gunners close in on Brighton’s Ben White.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is on the prowl for a long-tern partner for Harry Maguire. Phil Jones is unlikely to have a future at Old Trafford, Axel Tuanzebe is linked with a loan move and Eric Bailly is now courted by former club Villareal. While they edge ever closer to landing Varane’s signature, the Red Devils still need another centre-back.

Umiti signed for Barcelona in the summer 2016 from Lyon. He quickly became a hit in his debut season. However, from there it all went downhill for the French international. He struggled with knee injuries which saw him fall down the pecking order.

The World Cup winner made just 16 appearances in all competitions last season. New manager Ronald Koeman favoured youngsters Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza over him to partner Gerard Pique or Clement Lenglet.

Given his standing at the club, Barca were looking to offload him last season itself but failed to do so. This summer, due to their wage-bill issues, they are desperate to move him on.

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