09/07/2021; 8:47 AM By : Steven D. Thompson
According to the latest reports, Manchester United could be battling it out with Arsenal to sign Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti.
Barca is in deep trouble after years of poor investment choices. The club can’t register new players like Sergio Aguero due to La Liga’s salary limits and are hence forced to transfer players like Umtiti.
The player isn’t too keen on annulling the contract, forcing Barca to search for opportunities for transfer or send him on loan this season. By doing so, the team could save nearly £17 million, which is a small fortune considering the situation the club is currently in.
United and Arsenal have expressed their desires to sign Umtiti in the summer. And with young talents like Eric Garcia, Oscar Mingueza, and Ronald Araujo coming through, the La Liga side will be more than relieved to part ways with the Frenchman. Umtiti made 132 appearances for Barca in the last 5 years but missed 83 bouts due to injuries.
After securing Jadon Sancho and bidding for Harry Maguire, United are eyeing Raphael Varane next. Although the 28-year-old French centre-back is the costlier option, he is more reliable, is at the top of his game, and hasn’t sustained any major injuries in the past.
Umtiti’s performance has faltered in the last couple of seasons, and missing out on him would not trigger any major resentment at Old Trafford. His last major performance was at Camp Nou during the team’s triumphant performance during 2017-18. However, things have only gone downhill since.
United will have to fork out £150,000 per week to get Declan Rice onboard. With Jadon Sancho in the ranks, United now need a strong defence/centre-back, and Rice fits right into the slot.
One of the best English players in top tier football, Rice has been performing consistently at West Ham. Capable of playing from both centre-back and defensive positions, the 22-year-old will be a formidable addition to the Devils’ squad.
Rice has now got Old Trafford’s attention after twice rejecting West Ham’s offer. The news has also alerted Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City. The clubs are in contact with the player’s representatives and have been informed of his decision to leave London.
Chelsea is currently at the frontlines of landing the midfielder, considering his rapport with the club. West Ham is in no mood to let the youngster go and believe that he is now worth much more than the £70 million tags they had earlier put on him. If England wins Euro 2020 with Rice in the squad, the price could further move up.
Apart from the wages, interested clubs will also have to offer a substantial transfer fee to bag Rice. The player is currently outside the top five highest-paid athletes in West Ham. And although the squad has offered him a raise, he could earn a lot more elsewhere. Rice’s 2-0 performance against Germany at Euro 2020 has only bolstered his reputation in international circles.