Real Madrid ready to pounce in shock raid on Barcelona, shirt number reserved

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Such is the intense rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona, it’s rare that transfers are agreed upon directly between the two clubs.

Constantly battling for domestic dominance and to prove themselves as the best in Europe, it hasn’t been a usual occurrence to see a player move from the Nou Camp to the Bernabeu or vice versa.

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However, according to Diario Gol, as re-reported by The Express, Real Madrid could be poised to take advantage of defender Samuel Umtiti’s contract troubles with the Catalan giants, and have even reportedly kept the No.23 shirt number to the side for him in case he’s ready to move to the Spanish capital.

Whether or not the French international signs a new long-term agreement with Barcelona remains to be seen, but until he does, it seems that rumours will continue to surface over his future.

What is clear at this stage is that he’s integral to Ernesto Valverde’s side and their success, as they’ve conceded just 24 goals in 36 La Liga games this season, giving them the second best defensive record in the top flight.

Having built a strong partnership with Gerard Pique in the heart of the defence, and given he’s still only 24 years of age with his whole career ahead of him, Barcelona will be desperate to avoid losing him at all, let alone to rivals Real Madrid.

With the above in mind regarding the rarity of transfers happening between the two Spanish giants, it’s still difficult to imagine that Barcelona would allow it to go through.

Nevertheless, the risk of losing Umtiti due to contract issues seems legitimate as he hasn’t signed yet, and so until that is secured, perhaps there will be a few more concerning reports coming out of Spain over his future as Madrid are seemingly keeping a very close eye on matters.

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