Despite earning rave reviews while at Lyon, Umtiti has often struggled to recapture the form that made him one of Ligue 1’s best defenders.
United were initially linked with a move for Umtiti at the beginning of the 2019/20 season, but a move failed to materialise and the Red Devils opted against signing any centre-back.
The Frenchman now finds himself out of favour at Barcelona, well down the pecking order, but still tied to a £43m release clause that has led some clubs to end their interest.
Umtiti’s current contract does not expire until 2023, but Barcelona would not oppose letting him depart as a means of raising funds for their own transfer dealings.
One of the most gifted central defenders on the continent, Real Madrid are reportedly willing to let Varane leave after a decade at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The recent arrival of Carlo Ancelotti as Los Blancos boss could only further play into United’s hands, with comments made by Varane on life under the Italian the first time recently coming to light again.
Varane said: “Since he left, I’ve improved. I could have perhaps played more under him if I could have shown him he could count on me in difficult times.