United increases interest in Umtiti; Barcelona pushes for contract extension
Samuel Umtiti’s future at FC Barcelona remains on the edge as Manchester United continues to monitor the defender. Barcelona is in talks with Umtiti for a new contract, but both the parties are some way behind agreeing terms.
The defender is still paid the same wages for which he signed for FC Barcelona from Lyon in 2016. Umtiti has become an integral figure in the FC Barcelona defence ever since joining the club.
Umtiti and Gerard Pique have formed a strong defensive partnership for Barcelona this season. Both the defenders have played a significant role in their unbeaten run in La Liga this season, with three games still to play.
But Umtiti’s contract situation poses a worry for FC Barcelona, as Jose Mourinho intends to boost his squad for the next season. Manchester United have consistently faced defensive worries over this season.
Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones were constantly on the sidelines due to injury. Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof have been too inconsistent throughout the season, which has led to Jose entering the market for centre-backs again this year. United are currently 2nd in the Premier League table, losing the PL title to derby rivals Manchester City.
Umtiti has three years left in his Barca deal, but the club president Josep Maria Bartomeu are pushing to tie the player down to sign an extension.
“We try to maintain a salary structure that has a certain harmony. We will try to reach an agreement because he has had a good season. The important thing is that we work in peace,” Bartomeu told RAC1 on Monday.
Umtiti’s release clause stands at a mere €52 million, which has forced Barcelona’s hands to renew his deal. The club intended to triple the amount of Umtiti’s release clause, bringing it to the range of around €160 million.