Man United in pole position of signing 25-year-old Barcelona defensive powerhouse

Barcelona are reportedly prepared to cash in on French centre-back Samuel Umtiti this summer if Manchester United or Manchester City follow up their initial interest with an official bid.

The 25-year-old has struggled with a knee injury since helping his national side to win the World Cup last summer, starting just nine games all season.

Umtiti has featured twice since the end of November, but he got 90 minutes under his belt in Saturday’s 3-1 win against Rayo Vallecano, suggesting that his fitness issues are behind him.

Calciomercato claims that Barca are happy to offload the ex-Lyon defender, however, and that could be good news for Man United and Man City, having both been linked in the past.

Barca are rumoured to be after Ajax youngster Matthijs de Ligt and will free up funds by getting rid of Umtiti, who they signed from Lyon in a £20m deal two-and-a-half years ago.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils have reportedly increased their efforts to bring in right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace.

United are one of a number of Premier League clubs to have been linked with the £40m-rated defender, along with Arsenal and Manchester City.

Teams across the continent are also keeping an eye on Wan-Bissaka’s performances, with German duo Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich rumoured to be weighing up an offer.