Jose Mourinho may be building a team that can dominate the English league for decades but he is only half-way through, as was evident in his side’s loss at Wembley recently. The manager has added some world-class talent to his side in the four transfer windows he has overseen at Old Trafford but is still looking for a player who can improve other areas of the squad.
One player, they are desperate for is Barcelona star Samuel Umtiti. According to recent reports, Manchester United are now confident of landing Umtiti in the summer transfer window. He is yet to sign a contract extension at Camp Nou and could well be heading towards the door. So how can the Catalans replace the French international? Here are three options they should start scouting:
Jose Gimenez (Atletico Madrid):
The 23-year old is the first choice CB for his national side but is unable to break into the first team under Diego Simeone for more than a year now. He has made just 12 La Liga appearances this season. He has already been linked with an exit and Barcelona should be all over him, if they lose Umtiti anytime soon. He is a perfect mix of aggression and calmness, something Umtiti has shown well. Surely, he is one of the best possible replacements for the French star, Barca can sign.
Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen):
The 21-year CB is one of the most highly rated defenders in the domestic circuit in Germany and has been in terrific form for Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen this season. He is the first choice defender for the club, making 19 appearances this season. At just 21, he has already made 83 top-flight appearances in Germany and is ready for the biggest test in Europe. Barcelona have previously been linked with a move for Tah but if they lose Umtiti, the German is a decent option at the back for Blaugrana.
Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur):
Though not a long-term option for the club, Barcelona should definitely take have a look at the Belgian defender Alderweireld, who has missed most of the current season with an injury. At 28, he is in his prime as a footballer and is the first choice for his club and country. He is an experienced campaigner, who can walk into the first team and his experience at the highest level will allow him to settle in at Camp Nou pretty quickly. His contract does not run down till 2020 but has been linked with an exit and could be lured with a chance to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world.
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