Manchester City have reportedly held transfer talks with Barcelona superstar Samuel Umtiti.
The Premier League leaders are believed to be in the market for a new centre-back this month.
And French news outlet L’Equipe claims Pep Guardiola has his sights firmly fixed on former Lyon ace Umtiti.
The 24-year-old has become a key man at the Nou Camp this season, displacing Javier Mascherano in the starting XI and forcing the Argentine to seek a move to China.
However, Umtiti has a release clause worth just £50million, and Barcelona fear clubs will be tempted to meet it after Liverpool set a new record for a defender by signing Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk for £75m.
It’s reckoned that Barca are preparing a fresh contract for Umtiti which would see that £50m figure soar.
But it appears City have already made their move by sending representatives to talk with the player.
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Umtiti has reportedly been presented with Guardiola’s project for the future.
And his arrival at the Etihad could also see City begin to employ a three-man defence on a more regular basis.
However, a deal is far from sorted, and the report adds that Umtiti has asked for a “period of time” to reflect on City’s offer.