In the summer of 2016, Samuel Umtiti arrived at Camp Nou with a lot of expectations and fan fare. He has more or less fulfilled those expectations and has been a tank in the Barcelona defence over the last couple of seasons.
In Pique’s absence he has become a leader of the defence and does a reliable and efficient job at it. However things haven’t been as smooth off the pitch and his contract talks have hit a deadlock.
Barcelona haven’t agreed to Umtiti’s wage demands and the French international is all set to hop on to this bus to Manchester United with Jose Mourinho reportedly being interested in the youngster.
Barcelona haven’t really given up on their French defender but have braced themselves for a situation in case he does leave the Camp Nou. The Catalan giants have readied a list of transfer targets to replace Umtiti in the summer transfer window.
Barcelona are reportedly interested in RB Leipzig centre back Dayot Upamecano. The French defender has impressed in his debut season at Leipzig and has attracted a lot of eyeballs across Europe.
However the Upamecano has a €100 million release clause and this might make Barcelona look elsewhere.
Schalke youngster Thilo Kohrer is also on the Barcelona radar and could very well end up at Camp Nou if Umtiti decides to move on. Kohrer is valued at around €25-30 million by Schalke and the Barcelona board have been keeping a close eye on his progress.
All of this depends on the Umtiti situation and the contract negotiations. Umtiti’s current contract runs till 2021 and Barcelona would be hoping to tie down him with a contract extension if possible.
However if the French international does leave Catalonia for Manchester, even a swap deal for Luke Shaw could be on the cards according to a few U.K. newspapers.