After sealing a bargain £24m move to the Nou Camp last summer, Samuel Umtiti has gone on to prove he can compete at the top level. Barcelona are currently four points top of La Liga, eight points clear of Real Madrid and look favourites to seal yet another title. Umtiti has been a crucial player for Ernesto Velverde's side, helping his side to remain solid in defence - Barca have conceded only four goals in their opening 11 games and remain unbeaten. The Frenchman is likely to feature for...
Ask any Manchester United fan who their best defender is and they'll say Eric Bailly. Ask them who they would want to partner Bailly, and the answers would vary. United's strength in the centre of defence pretty much starts and ends with Eric Bailly, as the other options could be considered a risk to mistakes.
Both players are 23-years-old, meaning they will have time to grow and develop a strong partnership going forward. Mourinho will also want a more experienced centre-half in his squad to guide the two, but at least he won't be asking them to play more like Phil Jagielka.
Following his arrival at Old Trafford from Benfica for £30m in the summer, Victor Lindelof has really struggled to adapt to the Premier League and break into Mourinho's team. The Swede is yet to start a Premier League game and has only made two substitute appearances, with many fans suggesting Jose is planning a 'Mkhitaryan-style' introduction for the Red Devils.
When Lindelof has featured for United, he has been susceptible to errors, leaving fans wondering why they forked out £30m for him. Umtiti will cost considerably more, but he has already shown his quality for both Lyon and Barca, meaning he is a safer, more solid option.
Based on Umtiti's performances, it appears he doesn't have a ceiling. His ability to keep calm in pressure situations and play the ball out from the back, keeping possession for his side when others would just hoof it, is one of his main qualities. He could be described as a player fit for Pep Guardiola's system, although Mourinho will be hoping he doesn't move to their rivals.
At just 23-years-old, Umtiti is nowhere near the complete package, although he is on course to be just that. Under the right management the Frenchman has what it takes to be one of the world's best in a few years time.
At Lyon and Barca, Umtiti has won both the Coupe de France and Copa del Rey in Ligue 1 and La Liga respectively. The Frenchman knows what it takes to win trophies, and he'll be hoping to claim his first league title this season, with Barca looking likely to break away from their title rivals.
United are without a league title for four years, with the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson affecting the club more than the Old Trafford hierarchy would've hoped. Umtiti would be seen as a signing for both the present and the future, and he would be hungry for titles in the Prem.
Umtiti and Raphael Varane appear to be the future of French football's defensive solidity, and deservedly so. Both players have become crucial for their club sides and will no doubt go on to win a hatful of trophies throughout their careers.
United have been linked with a move for Varane for a number of years now, and they may still choose to target him instead of Umtiti. However, and deal for Varane will more than likely see star keeper David De Gea move in the other direction.
The Spaniard has been United's best player for the past few years, so losing him would be a big blow. Umtiti is arguably just as good as Varane, and a deal for the 23-year-old would give United a greater chance of keeping De Gea.