Barcelona ready to listen to offers for Man Utd-linked Umtiti

The World Cup winner is set to be moved on in the summer, with the Liga leaders likely to be looking at a fee in the region of €70 million to €90m Barcelona are ready to listen to offers for centre-back Samuel Umtiti, Goal understands...


The World Cup winner is set to be moved on in the summer, with the Liga leaders likely to be looking at a fee in the region of €70 million to €90m
Barcelona are ready to listen to offers for centre-back Samuel Umtiti, Goal understands.

The French World Cup winner has previously been linked with Manchester United, with Premier League clubs likely to be on alert as Barca get ready to sell for a potential fee in the region of €70 million (£60m/$79m) to €90m (£77m/$101m).

Umtiti joined the Catalan giants from Lyon in 2016 with the hope being that he would be a long-term solution in central defence.

His stock has since fallen dramatically, however, with the defender now third choice in the pecking order, behind both Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet.

Barca remain keen on luring Ajax centre-back Matthijs de Ligt to Camp Nou in the summer although they will need to offload three defenders to make room for the Dutchman.

The Liga leaders do not currently have the transfer budget to fund a move for De Ligt, with the renovation of Camp Nou due to take place in the summer for a significant financial outlay.

Goal understands that, as a result of the need to raise funds, Umtiti is seen as an expendable member of the squad.

The 25-year-old provides Barca with the best chance of receiving the highest possible amount among all the defenders on the club's books, particularly with the reported interest from England's top flight.

Thomas Vermaelen and Jeison Murillo are also expected to leave when their contracts expire in the summer, while Jean-Clair Todibo could be given more time to develop having only joined from Toulouse in January 2019.

Umtiti's situation at Barca has been made worse by the negotiations for his new contract in 2018, with the player unwilling to relax his salary demands in light of the club's attempts to appease FFP limits.

There have also been persistent issues with his knee, with the 25-year-old having initially suffered the injury a little over a year ago before deciding to play through the pain at the World Cup, thus aggravating the problem.

Umtiti twice rejected surgery, before and after France's World Cup exploits in Russia, and has had to receive preventative treatment since.

The knee problem, coupled with the form of Lenglet, who is now very much first choice alongside Pique, means he has played just 10 games for Barca in 2018-19 and, despite it seeming unthinkable last year, a sale is now a very real possibility.

Should Barca manage to offload Umtiti, De Ligt is seen as a long-term replacement for Pique, with Barca confident of luring the Ajax star having already agreed a deal to sign his club and international team-mate Frenkie de Jong.

There is, however, no guarantee that Umtiti, who started both of France's Euro 2020 qualifying wins in the latest international break, will be sold.

Umtiti has a contract until 2023 with a €500m (£426m/$563m) release clause, with Ernesto Valverde's side likely to ignore bids that are lower than the €70m mark, given their strong position in any potential negotiations.

Source:Goal



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