Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti as Jose Mourinho looks to bolster his defence.
The Red Devils manager signed Victor Lindelof from Benfica in the summer, joining Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo in the list of first-choice central defenders in the squad.
However, Lindelof is yet to impress in the Premier League, with the Portuguese tactician preferring Bailly, Jones and Smalling ahead of him. Mourinho is yet to be convinced by the Sweden international, and the Mirror reports that the United manager is now looking for defensive reinforcements.
Mourinho is looking for a central defender to partner Bailly in the heart of United's back-four, with Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane also a target for the former Inter Milan and Chelsea manager at Old Trafford in the past.
The France international made his debut under Mourinho, when the latter was incharge at the Spanish capital club. Varane has been a regular inclusion in Real's back-four, along with club captain Sergio Ramos in recent years.
Mourinho's failure to sign Varane has forced him to look elsewhere in the market. He has now turned his attention towards Barcelona's Umtiti, who could challenge Arsenal star Laurent Koscielny to partner Varane in France's central defending position at next summer's World Cup in Russia.
Umtiti struggled initially after completing his move to Camp Nou from Lyon in 2016. However, the 23-year-old has been able to adapt to Barcelona's style of play and has been a key figure in the Catalan club's defence, alongside Gerard Pique.
The France international's current deal with the La Liga leaders runs down in 2021 and has a £53m ($69.6m) release clause. It is still not sure whether Umtiti is open to the idea of leaving his current employers, either in January or next summer.
Umtiti is looking for a new contract at Barcelona and it could be another reason why his name has been linked with a move away from Spain.