Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti emerges as Manchester City target 'amid a defensive shortage'

Samuel Umtiti Barcelona

Manchester City are reportedly targeting Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti as they seek to solve defensive issues.

Pep Guardiola faces a dilemma in defence as he lacks the numbers to cover injury issues adequately.

Manchester City lost 2-0 to local rivals Manchester United and slipped fourteen points behind league leaders Liverpool in the process.

Fernandinho was playing at centre-back, which he has been doing for a while in the absence of Aymeric Laporte.

Laporte suffered knee cartilage and meniscus injury and is still in the process of recovery.

This issue was regarded as avoidable by many fans as the club opted not to replace Vincent Kompany last summer.

Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti has emerged as City's main target for the January window, according to L'Equipe (via the Daily Mail).

Umtiti has himself been troubled with a knee injury over the past year or so and it's threatened his future at Barcelona.

He's only featured in 23 games for Barça since the summer of 2018.

As a result Clement Lenglet and Gerard Pique are currently the preferred centre-back pairing at the Nou Camp.

Umtiti was heavily linked to both Arsenal and Manchester United last summer, but both clubs looked elsewhere for defensive recruitments.

The World Cup-winning centre-back could add much-needed experience and steel to a leaky City defence.

City have conceded 19 goals in 16 Premier League games already this season, which is nearly the 23 they conceded in the whole campaign last season.

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