Manchester United will battle Arsenal and Tottenham in the race to sign Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti – according to reports.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is open to making signings during the January transfer window and the need for a defender has emerged with Harry Maguire expected to miss the next few fixtures due to injury.
MEN understand the Reds are exploring a possibility of a loan signing this month to cope with Maguire’s potential absence as Phil Jones and Eric Bailly have also struggled for fitness in recent months.
Spanish outlet El Desmarque claim that United have joined the race to sign Umtiti as the Frenchman is currently out of favour under Ernesto Valverde.
Umtiti, 26, was once considered one of the world’s most promising defenders after impressing for Lyon but a series of knee problems during his time at Barcelona has hampered his progress.
Having made just four La Liga starts, the report claims Barcelona are willing to cash in on the World Cup winner with United, Arsenal and Spurs all looking to land his signature.
Unless Umtiti is available for a knockdown price, it’s difficult to see United authorising a deal for a player with a history of fitness problems and who is unlikely to usurp Maguire once the England international is fully fit.
Elsewhere, reports suggest Manchester United’s search for a new striker has led them to Napoli star Arkadiusz Milik.
The 25-year-old has impressed for the Italian side this season, netting ten goals in just 12 appearances, and would be seen as an alternative to Erling Haaland as per The Sun.
Napoli value the player at £60million but the Poland international has just 18 months remaining on his contract.
United’s reported pursuit of Milik could be boosted by the fact the forward supports the club.
He said back in 2012: “My dream is to play in this club. I’m a Red Devil supporter, that’s why I’d love to play in the team at Old Trafford one day.”
Milik could prove to be an excellent addition but the price tag should be baulked at by United. With Anthony Martial likely to remain first-choice forward, paying such a fee for an injury prone player wouldn’t make much sense.
Finally, the Reds have been linked with a move for Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumballa as per reports in Italy.
The 19-year-old has made 11 appearances in the Serie A this season and his performances have attracted plenty of interest.
Inter Milan, Napoli, RB Leipzig and Atalanta all want the youngster if reports are to be believed and Tuttomercatoweb claim United have joined his list of suitors.
The Albania international is under contract with his current employers until 2022.