Mourinho has long fancied signing Raphael Varane, but has now given up on landing Real Madrid's French defender
Jose Mourinho has turned his attention to Samuel Umtiti, as the Manchester United boss eyes further defensive reinforcements.
The Old Trafford chief remains keen to add to his squad, and still wants a centre-half to partner Eric Bailly.
Summer signing Victor Lindelof, a £30million purchase from Benfica, has failed to impress, and Mourinho has never truly been convinced by Chris Smalling.
Raphael Varane, the Real Madrid defender has long been Mourinho’s No.1 target, but there is no chance of a reunion at United.
Varane, who made his Madrid debut under Mourinho, is now firmly ensconced as first choice with the Spanish champions, alongside captain Sergio Ramos.
As such, Umtiti - Varane’s potential partner at the heart of Les Bleus' defence at the World Cup next summer - has emerged as an option.
The ex-Lyon defender joined Barcelona in 2016 from Lyon in a £22million deal and has starred since.
But the buyout clause in his contract sits at £53million - a figure deemed deemed below the 23-year-old’s value by Mourinho.
United have moved to a back three recently and Mourinho is keen on adding a left-footed centre-half to his squad - the Portuguese having largely decided against using Daley Blind as a centre-back.
There remain questions over whether Umtiti is actively seeking a move however - his name having been fed around in Spain - or is instead trying to drum up interest because he's keen on a new contract, something which has seen United burned before.
His deal at Camp Nou runs until 2021. He has made himself first-choice partner to Gerard Pique in his 17 months in Catalunya, but remains on the same contract he signed when arriving as second fiddle to Javier Mascherano.