• Man Utd tried to sign Umtiti during this January transfer window
  • Umtiti has made just 16 Barca appearances so far this season
  • Barca are currently on the top of La Liga table

Manchester United and Arsenal reportedly are competing to sign FC Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti in the upcoming summer transfer window.

It is understood that Barca wanted to get rid of Umtiti last summer but the Frenchman refused to move to Premier League as he was insistent that he could break into Barcelona’s first-team again. However, that did not happen as he has made just 16 appearances so far this season and now the Catalans want to raise funds by offloading the players including Umtiti, who reportedly has accepted that his future does not lie in Camp Nou anymore.

Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants the transformation phase of his side to end as soon as possible and he would certainly want to improve the defense. The Red Devils reportedly had tried to sign Umtiti this January when Barca had made it clear that Clement Lenglet and not Umtiti was their first-choice partner for Gerard Pique in the ongoing season.

Meanwhile, Arsenal's boss Mikel Arteta also is aware that his side needs to better their defense and Umtiti could be fit in there. Arsenal certainly have improved massively since the departure of Unai Emery that made way for Arteta as the club’s boss.

Last summer, Barca had valued Umtitiat around $67 million and according to the latest reports, for Arsenal to accept the deal the Catalans will have to reduce the defender’s transfer fee. This is because, Arsenal’s budget is expected to be based on their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League and at present, they are outside top-five in the Premier League table.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players were booed off against Burnley
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players were booed off against Burnley AFP / Paul ELLIS

Due to the outbreak of the pandemic coronavirus, the sporting calendar has come to a halt. The top five soccer leagues in Europe – England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France—as well as the Champions League and Europa League have all been suspended as the deadly virus has reportedly infected almost 180,000 people and killed over 7,000 worldwide.

When La Liga resumes, it will be Barca on the top ahead of Real Madrid and Sevilla and when Premier League returns to action, leaders Liverpool FC will be only two wins away from clinching their first title in 30 years, while Man Utd will look to break into the top four as they are three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.