Manchester United Football Club suddenly looks like a team who can go toe-to-toe with the best on a regular basis.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserves credit for that, with his signings making a huge impact. You look at Bruno Fernandes’ influence, while Harry Maguire’s leadership cannot be denied. It’s that solid defensive base which is now the foundation to our success.
Despite that, United are still being linked with shiny new defensive toys left, right and centre. Today’s stories state that Samuel Umtiti is now on the Red Devils’ radar.
The article comes from Spanish media outlet Sport, who state that United are ‘willing to make a significant effort’ to sign the 26-year-old defender.
Timing-wise, it couldn’t have happened any better for United as apparently, FC Barcelona are ready to cash in on Umtiti. The Blaugranes feel that now the Frenchman is back playing again following injury, this is the perfect time to sell.
Right now, Umtiti has a £457m (€500m) release clause in his contract, though we know the centre-back will never be sold for anything close to that price. It’s just common practice in Spain, where those teams love to go above and beyond to protect their assets.
I do like Umtiti, I think he’s super-talented, though I’m not sure the fit is right. The Reds have Maguire, an improving Victor Lindelof, Axel Tuanzebe who is learning and Eric Bailly back from injury. Add Chris Smalling back into that mix and I’m not sure where Umtiti fits in.
He wouldn’t be cheap, no doubt the injury issues will remain and that money could be spent wisely elsewhere. For now, I’d hope that this is just Catalan media trying to drum up interest in a player they’re trying to sell, but let’s wait and see…