Newcastle United are reportedly preparing a £17m bid for Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti.
The World Cup-winning Frenchman is about to enter the final six months of his Blaugrana contract and is widely expected to leave in 2022.
Barca are said to be desperate to trim Umtiti’s weekly £220k salary from their wage bill, which could potentially lead to a cut-price sale in the January transfer window.
According to The Sun, Newcastle are prepared to take advantage with a £17m bid, as Eddie Howe prioritises defensive incomings for the second half of the season.
However, Umtiti is supposedly reluctant to take a hit on his pay packet in order to secure a move away, which could lead Newcastle to turn their attention to Lille’s Sven Botman instead.
Umtiti has won two La Liga titles and three Copa del Reys during his time with Barcelona, but the 28-year-old has only played once this season in all competitions – starting in the 2-2 draw with Osasuna earlier this month.