As the transfer window looms around the corner there have been reports that both Liverpool and Man United are interested in signing Barcelona centre backs Yerry Mina and Samuel Umtiti respectively.
Mina only joined the Catalan club in January but has found it hard to break into the first eleven and according to Ignacio Miguelez at Colombian news outlet El Chiringuito, the Colombian is headed for Anfield next season on loan.
Meanwhile, L'Équipe are reporting that a senior official at Barcelona has suggested that if Samuel Umtiti wants to leave the La Liga giants, then he is free to do so, reporting the source as saying "If he wants to leave, he will do it and we will have to accept it". It is understood that Umtiti, who signed form Lyon in 2016, has a release clause of €60 million.
Umtiti has been in a stand off with the club over his wages and Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu recently admitted to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser that the club wants to keep the defender though his wage demands may prove unfeasible for the club:
Umtiti is very important, he knows that, the fans know that. He's only in the second year of his contract but our desire is for him to renew his deal.
But, as directors, we have to make sure [players' wages] are within the salary structure to remain a competitive and sustainable club.
Both United and Liverpool have struggled to find a reliable centre back pairing this season. The Merseyside club have had injuries to Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan which have scotched Jurgen Klopp's attempts to form a consistent backline. Jose Mourinho has tinkered with his centre back pairing as well, but no combination of Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly or Victor Lindelof has stood out, and the Portugese recently hit out at his squad, admitting he trusts some players more than others:
Some of the people we have, they have to be more consistent in their performance, and we need more quality.
I trust some [players] more than others that can bridge that gap. That's normal. I know the players. I worked with the players for a couple of years. I know them better than anyone.
With the gap that has opened up between United and their crosstown rivals, it's hard to see Mourinho and Klopp forgoing the chance to invest in their squads once the transfer window opens again in June.