Chelsea and Arsenal have joined Barcelona in the race to secure the services of Lyon defender Samuel Umtitti, according to Mundo Deportivo. The Spanish publication claims that the France International "has the priority to" move to the Nou Camp but the Blues have approached the player's agent in recent days in a bid to change his mind and lure the 22-year-old to Stamford Bridge instead.

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has earmarked the signing of a centre-back to fight with Javier Mascherano for a spot in his back-line along with Gerard Pique as the top priority for the coming summer transfer window.

PSG star Marquinhos, Athletic Club's Aymeric Laporte, Atletico Madrid's Jose Maria Jimenez and Everton's John Stones have all been linked to the La Liga champions in recent months but reports in recent days have claimed that Umtiti has emerged as the new top target due to his more affordable price and his age.

Nevertheless, Mundo Deportivo recently claimed that Lyon are ready to negotiate his departure for around €25m (£19.9m, $28.1m) while the player made little effort to diminish the speculations after admitting: "Barcelona are a club where many players would like to play."

The Spanish publication suggested last week that Barcelona were thus in line to secure his services as all the parties looked happy to see the French international at the Nou Camp next season.

However, Mundo Deportivo now claims that Barcelona could face competition from Chelsea and Arsenal.


The report claims that the Blues had already tried to secure his services last summer and, following the links with Barcelona, contacted his agent and brother to alert him that offer remains on the table as news boss Antonio Conte would welcome him at Stamford Bridge.

The Spanish publication adds that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has also been monitoring his situation for a while, due to his good contacts in French football but the Gunners are yet to make a proposal to secure his services.

Meanwhile, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino revealed in April that Spurs were also keeping an eye on his development ahead of making a move to lure him to White Hart Lane.

One way or another Mundo Deportivo points out that Umtiti would rather move to Barcelona instead.