Newcastle United are continuing to scout Samuel Umtiti ahead of the summer transfer window, according to reports this morning.

The 22 year old centre-back is one of Newcastle’s targets to help sort out arguably the worst defence in the Premier League, if United stay up.

The Chronicle say that with Samuel Umtiti being a left-footed centre-back and also able to play left-back if necessary, he would give some much needed balance, and hopefully quality, to the beleaguered Newcastle defence.

Umtiti has been a fixture in the Lyon side since the age of 18 and playing alongside Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa this season, only four other clubs have conceded less goals than Lyon’s total of 29.

The defender was born in Cameroon but has opted to play for France, for whom he is also eligible to represent, and has played at various youth levels and is tipped to shortly get his first full cap.

Newcastle are also claimed to be ready to go back and bid for Alexandre Lacazette in the summer, one of Samuel Umtiti’s team-mates.

However, a lot could rest on how Ligue 1 ends up at the end of the season.

Apart from PSG and Monaco, the French league is incredibly open this season and only nine points separate Hatem Ben Arfa and Nice in third position and Reims in 17th (fourth bottom) – Lyon are currently in sixth only two points behind Nice.

In France, with the exception of PSG all the clubs are massively reliant on Champions League qualification in order to try and keep their best players, with the Ligue 1 TV deals a fraction of the Premier League.

In addition, the current levels of tax for high earners in France makes it even more attractive for players to move to England, so don’t expect any end to Newcastle’s ongoing interest on players from the other side of the Channel…