Sky Sports has confirmed that Barcelona star and France international Samuel Umtiti has agreed to a five-year extension to his contract at Nou Camp. This will mean that the highly rated centre-back, who was being tracked by Manchester United now has an agreement with the Spanish club till 2023.
The newly signed deal will put Manchester United in a difficult position who are supposedly chasing the defender’s signature. With a deal for the French international now looking unlikely, here are three replacements we feel can replace him at Old Trafford.
The Chelsea stopper has had a long journey in Europe, playing in Portugal, France and England in the last decade. He is now a fringe player in the Blues squad and was clearly frustrated at the lack of game time he got last season under Antonio Conte.
Although Luiz is already north of 30, he still has at least two more years of top quality football left in him and can easily play for a big club like Manchester United. The Brazil international is a world-class player on his day and true to the nature of his fellow countrymen, produces moments of magic on the pitch even while playing from the defence. However, there are occasions when his gamble goes wrong and the player is left looking foolish on the pitch.
He will certainly be a gamble for Mourinho as well and likely to come at a cheaper price than Umtiti.
The Tottenham Hotspur star has been on the fringes of the Spurs squad for the entire duration of the last season. He has an ongoing contract dilemma at North London and Manchester United may find it easier to land him than Umtiti.
He is another excellent defender on the ball and a brilliant reader of the game. He rarely makes a sliding tackle, so good is his positioning. He also knows the league well inside out and could be a smart signing for the Red Devils.
The Napoli defender is rated very highly at Naples. He is a physically dominant player with excellent aerial skills. He had an excellent season last term at Naples and helped the team challenge for the domestic league title.
Koulibaly will not be easy to land, given he is still young and highly rated all over Europe. However, the player can be a smart buy for any team including Manchester United, who are crying out for a leader like him for their backline.