In Focus: Man United must hope target Samuel Umtiti wants to leave Barcelona

According to Graeme Bailey of the Gambling Times, Manchester United are ready to step up their interest in Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, who has a release clause of £50m.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the Gambling Times says that the 24-year-old’s impressive performances for the La Liga leaders and his £50m release clause have attracted the interest of United and arch-rivals Manchester City, who could try and lure him away for that price.

However, the Gambling Times adds that the Red Devils believe that the France international, who is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury, could be on the verge of signing a new contract at the Camp Nou having shown little desire to want to leave.

How has Umtiti done this season?

Prior to his injury the centre-back had made 19 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona, while he played every minute of their opening five Champions League group matches.

The Catalan giants only conceded six goals in his 12 La Liga appearances, and when you look at his statistics it is no surprise that he is gaining admiring glances form English clubs.

According to WhoScored.com, he has won 34 tackles and 26 of the 38 aerial duels he has faced in the Spanish top flight and in Europe this term, while he has made 34 interceptions, 38 clearances and 19 blocks.

Umtit is also good on the ball too though, and he has successfully completed five of the seven dribbles he has attempted, while he has an impressive overall passing accuracy of 92.3%.

Would he be a good signing for United?

He certainly would be.

While Eric Bailly has proven to be a good signing for the Red Devils he has struggled with injury, while Jose Mourinho will be unsure whether the likes of Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones will be long-term starters for the club.

The centre-back position is something that he is likely to look at sooner rather than later, and Umtiti has all of the attributes to be a success in the Premier League.

Will they get him?

It depends on the player.

Given the volatile market the 24-year-old could prove to be a £50m bargain if he wants to leave Barcelona, but if he is keen to stay and signs a new contract then United will be forced to look elsewhere.