Reports: Manchester United to battle with Chelsea, Manchester City for Barcelona star’s signing

Reports: Manchester United to battle with Chelsea, Manchester City for Barcelona star's signing

The latest word around the rumour mill is that Premier League rivals Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City will battle with each other for the signing of Barcelona star Samuel Umtiti in January.

This is according to Express, who reports that While the Umtiti is not really desperate to leave the Nou Camp, he is, in fact, looking to find regular first-team football after dropping down the pecking order at Barcelona – which in turn has made Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea turn their attention on him.

As per the French publication L’Equipe, Manchester United and Chelsea are specifically looking for a left-footed centre-back, and Umtiti fits the bill.

At the same time, Manchester City are looking to bolster their defence thanks to Aymeric Laporte’s long-term injury which left manager Pep Guardiola short of options at the back.

Laporte is not expected back until at least February, and the lack of a proper defensive setup has hurt the Sky Blues in the race for their third successive Premier League title.

The 2017-18 and 2018-19 Premier League winners are currently 11 points short of table-toppers Liverpool and are at third place behind Jurgen Klopp’s men and Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City.

Meanwhile, Umtiti wants more first-team football to force his way back into the France national team, after winning the FIFA World Cup with them in 2018.

Earlier this summer, Arsenal were said to be interested in him, but they could not agree on a deal with Barcelona.