By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Tottenham target Samuel Umtiti is close to agreeing a £25.5million move to Barcelona, according to a report.
Spurs have been told they facing losing out on the versatile Lyon defender despite Mauricio Pochettino going public with his interest.
The 22-year-old was called up to the France Euro 2016 squad on the back of a fine season for the French club and has attracted admiring clubs from across Europe.
The Mirror claim Barcelona are confident of sealing a deal for Umtiti after lengthy conversations with the player’s representatives during Euro 2016.
It is said that an agreement between Barcelona and Lyon is now likely and that a deal is expected to top out at around £25.5million if a number of bonuses and clauses are met.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas revealed earlier this month that Umtiti was the subject of strong interest from Barcelona.
“Barcelona have approached us about Umtiti about 10 days ago,” Aulas told Eurosport, as cited by the Evening Standard.
The Cameroon-born star has been a mainstay of the Lyon team that finished second in Ligue 1 this season and is able to play at either left-back or centre-half.
Pochettino told French radio station RMC Sport that Umtiti is one of the players on Spurs’ radar as they look to reinforce the Premier League’s meanest backline.
“Yes, Umtiti is an interesting player with great potential that could come to England,” Pochettino said, when asked specifically about the youngster. “He is one of the players that our recruitment team is following.”
The 22-year-old centre-back spoke highly of the Spurs manager when those comments were put to him.
“It is flattering that Pochettino is interested in me, he is a manager that I like and his team is performing well,” Umtiti said. “I watch all the leagues but I think the Spanish league suits me best.”
In other Tottenham transfer news, the club are keeping close tabs on a highly rated Holland central midfielder.