AC Milan have reportedly entered the race for Lyon defender and Tottenham Hotspur target Samuel Umtiti.
The 19-year-old, who can operate as left-back or centre-half, has impressed at the Ligue 1 outfit this season, with Spurs and Newcastle United among several European clubs understood to be interested in his services.
Tottenham are keen on strengthening their defence in the summer and are confident the versatile Umtiti could provide competition for a few players, notably Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Alan Pardew remains an ardent admirer of French players and could continue his Ligue 1 signing spree next summer by snapping up the Lyon star.
However, Milan have now joined the chase for Umtiti, according to the Express. The report claims the Rossoneri are becoming increasingly concerned with the below-par performances of full-back Kevin Constant and are now planning to replace him.
Italian newspapers have heavily linked Milan with a summer move for Umtiti. Calciomercato states the Serie A giants scouted the defender during France U-20s friendly against Denmark last week, while Tuttomercato reports the Rossoneri rate him around €5m. That figure could go up, due to the involvement of the Premier League duo.
Umtiti, who joined the Lyon academy over a decade ago, helped his club win last season's Coupe de France. The Cameroon-born defender has made 20 appearances in all competitions for Les Gones this term, scoring two goals, including a spectacular half-volley against Spurs in the Europa League tie at White Hart Lane.
AVB: Kaboul Nearing Return
Meanwhile, Andre Villas-Boas claims Tottenham have been boosted by Younes Kaboul's return to training, after his long spell on the sidelines.
The France international has not featured for Spurs this season, following recurrence of a knee injury on the opening day of the campaign. And after enduring a few setbacks on the comeback trail, Villas-Boas believes the 27-year-old could now be fit enough to make a first team return next month.
"He has trained the last two days 100% with the team. He is going to rest on Friday and next week, he is going to come back and train again with the team. If he doesn't feel any pain, it can mean he will be match fit in 10 days if it all goes without interruption. But we have to be careful because it is a very sensitive situation for him," the manager said.