Barcelona have reportedly “tied up” a deal to sign Lyon defender Samuel Umtiti in the wake of Marc Bartra’s exit.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Barca have “moved quickly” to replace Bartra, who has joined Borussia Dortmund, and “already chosen” Umtiti for his “strength, ability to bring the ball out and versatility that allows him to play on the left”.
The 22-year-old is believed to have agreed a five-year contract with La Blaugrana and may command a fee in the region of €20m.
Barca had been linked with the likes of John Stones, Marquinhos and Aymeric Laporte last season, but they were priced out of deals for the trio, with fees between €50m and €60m being quoted.
Their scouting efforts ultimately took them to Umtiti, technical secretary Robert Fernandez and his team having watched the Frenchman, who will represent his country at Euro 2016, in Lyon’s 2-1 win against Paris Saint-Germain on February 28.
Umtiti could be joined at Camp Nou by another centre-back in Las Palmas’ Mauricio Lemos, although the latter depends on whether Thomas Vermaelen is sold.