Manchester City are ready to rival Manchester United in the pursuit of Samuel Umtiti, it has been claimed.
According to The Sun, Manchester City are on red alert after FC Barcelona gave Samuel Umtiti the green light to leave the club this summer.
The Premier League defending champions are apparently one of two clubs admired by Umtiti, with the other being their arch-rivals Manchester United. Thus, both the clubs could battle it out for the services of this highly talented Frenchman when the transfer window reopens in the summer.
Samuel Umtiti: A smart choice by Pep Guardiola
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is no stranger when it comes to investing in the defensive department and it won’t be surprising to see the Catalan splashing the cash once again this summer in an attempt to fortify his side’s defence.
Indeed, the Sky Blues have lacked reliable options at the back, with John Stones and Vincent Kompany struggling with form and injuries while Nicolas Otamendi has not touched last season’s heights following his whimsical performance in last summer’s FIFA World Cup campaign with Argentina.
As a result, Ayermic Laporte has emerged as the only reliable option for Man City in the central defensive position and it goes without saying that Guardiola soon needs to find a defender, who will be capable of complementing the Frenchman in the backline next season. Umtiti, to that end, could be an ideal option for a number of reasons.
The former Olympique Lyonnais star has emerged as an excellent ball-playing defender since his move to Barcelona, with Umtiti attaining over 91% pass completion rate in each of his three seasons in Spain. This could be beneficial for a Manchester City side, who have embraced the Juego de posicion style of football under Guardiola.
But importantly, Umtiti is a dogged defender, who, more often than, sticks to his marker that can be useful in the fast-paced nature of the Premier League. The numbers also speak for themselves, with the 25-year-old averaging over 2 clearances and 1.5 interceptions per game this season despite playing in a possession based system.
Additionally, Umtiti is a tactically astute defender, who can be utilized not only in a deep defensive line but also in a high defensive line, where his aggression helps him cut out spaces in midfield.
Therefore, Umtiti can offer the much-needed solidity in the Manchester City backline while his remarkable passing will add another dimension to City’s build-up from the game, making him an ideal option for the Sky Blues.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored