Man Utd have reportedly asked Barcelona about Samuel Umtiti’s availability as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemingly looks to strengthen his defence.
The backline was a major issue for the Red Devils last season as they conceded 54 goals in 38 Premier League games, giving them the worst defensive record of the top nine sides in the standings.
For a club looking to compete at the highest level both at home and in Europe, that is simply not good enough and is a glaring weakness that must be addressed.
To put it into further context, Liverpool and Man City conceded just 22 and 23 goals respectively during their thrilling title battle, and so that shows the gap that United must bridge.
According to Mundo Deportivo, they have made an enquiry over Umtiti with Barcelona, but the suggestion is that the Frenchman isn’t considered to be on the market by the Catalan giants.
The 25-year-old did struggle with a troublesome knee injury last season which limited him to just 15 appearances, while the emergence of Clement Lenglet’s partnership with Gerard Pique in his absence may well have raised question marks over his future at the Nou Camp.
However, despite United expressing an interest, it doesn’t sound as though either Barcelona or Umtiti himself will be open to talks, as the report adds that the World Cup winner has shown a desire to remain in Spain.
In turn, if it does end up in disappointment for Man Utd, they can ill-afford to drop their push for a defensive reinforcement and must look elsewhere.
Solskjaer does have countless options at his disposal already in Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, but as the numbers show last season, they simply weren’t good enough as pairings, and so time will tell if there is a reshuffle in that department upcoming for United.