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Manchester United and Arsenal could lock horns for Barcelona defender

Samuel Umtiti

The two clubs are on the hunt for a new centre-back and the France international could be sacrificed by Barça as they plan a squad reshuffle in the off-season.

El Mundo Deportivo (opens in new tab) believes both clubs are tracking the player, pointing out that Gunners director of football Raul Sanllehi played a big role in Umtiti’s move to Catalonia from Lyon in 2016.

The 25-year-old missed five months of this season with a knee injury and could be let go by Barcelona, who are looking to raise funds in their pursuit of Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt.

United made an effort to sign Umtiti before he penned a new Camp Nou deal last summer, but the report says he has not been forgotten by the Old Trafford hierarchy.

The defender’s new contract came with a mammoth €500 million release clause (around £426 million), but that would be overlooked if Barcelona are open to a sale at the end of the season.

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.