Arsenal and Man Utd ‘plan January transfer raids on Barcelona’

Arsenal and Manchester United are reportedly plotting January transfer raids on Barcelona .

The two Premier League giants are keen to take advantage of the La Liga champions’ need to sell in order to launch a new bid for former star Neymar.

And according to The Sun, the Gunners remain keen on central defender Samuel Umtiti while United are interested in Ivan Rakitic.

Arsenal strengthened their defence this summer with the signings of left-back Kieran Tierney and centre backs David Luiz and William Saliba.

But the former has struggled since moving from Chelsea while Saliba was loaned back to French club Saint-Etienne.

Umtiti has struggled to settle at Barcelona with Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet favoured at the heart of the Catalans’ defence.

United, meanwhile, are light of options in midfield having lost Ander Herrera to Paris Saint-Germain when his contract expired.

The Old Trafford club could also lose Paul Pogba in January if Real Madrid return with another offer.

And Rakitic, another who has fallen out of favour at the Nou Camp, is reportedly interesting United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Meanwhile, Solskjaer will be without Pogba, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw for his side’s trip to face West Ham .

United could also be without Welsh flyer David James, who missed the match against Astana with a knock sustained in the victory against Leicester .

“I don’t know,” Solskjaer said. “He’s not trained the last few days. Hopefully, but not sure.

“We’ll have a recovery day with everyone tomorrow and we’ll see on Saturday.”

Solskjaer said the likes of Axel Tuanzebe and Fred are knocking on the door to be in the starting line-up on Sunday, as is 17-year-old Marcus Greenwood after his display against Astana in the Europa League.

“It’s always hard to keep players who perform well out of the team,” the 46-year-old said.

“I remember when I came in here… and if he keeps scoring goals, he’ll play.

“If he keeps scoring goals when he’s on the pitch he’ll get more minutes in the Premier League as well and he’ll get his first start soon.”

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