Barcelona are reportedly fearing that Manchester United and Manchester City could activate Samuel Umtiti’s €60 million release clause in the near future.
Liverpool’s record move for Virgil van Dijk could have some serious repercussions, at least as far as Barcelona are concerned. The Catalans are growing increasingly worried about Samuel Umtiti and his future at the club, with the player on the radar of Manchester United and Manchester City, if the report from Spanish publication Don Balon is to be believed.
According to the report, Samuel Umtiti has a €60 million release clause and the current La Liga leaders fear the Manchester clubs could activate the buyout clause of the Frenchman.
Samuel Umtiti has slowly become an insoluble part of the first-team setup at Barcelona. The player is now an automatic selection in the starting lineup whenever available, with Ernesto Valverde seemingly having immense faith in the French international’s skills.
Umtiti is now set to be sidelined till February. But, he has already done enough to draw attention from England, with Manchester United and Manchester City looking at the Barcelona defender as a potential addition to their backline.
Manchester United seemed to have found a winning formula at the back. But, the injury to Eric Bailly has seen an infusion of uncertainty in defence, with the club seeing the opposition trouble their goal a lot – 13 goals in their last 10 matches in all competitions, with just 2 clean sheets in the process.
Both Man United and Man City are interested in signing Samuel Umtiti. The release clause of the defender is only €60m. As of right now, there are no talks about a contract renewal to increase his release clause because Barça think he’s happy and that he doesn’t want to leave. pic.twitter.com/B4GE3LzbmU
— FC Barcelona India (@barcaindia) December 28, 2017
The recent defensive record has seen Mourinho’s men being linked to a foray into the January transfer market for a central defender, with the likes of Jose Gimenez and David Luiz rumoured to be on their radar.
Manchester City’s fortunes with personnel issues seem to be mirroring their neighbours as well. John Stones has succumbed to an injury and while Nicolas Otamendi has stepped up massively, the other options do not instil a lot of confidence at the back, despite their defensive record in the last few matches.
The likes of Jonny Evans, James Tarkowski and Leonardo Bonucci have been linked leading up to the festive period. However, there seems to be a lot of competition in pursuit of all their targets, which could lead them to Umtiti.
The report does seem to make sense in the fact that, if Liverpool can spend such a high amount for Virgil van Dijk, the Manchester clubs are unlikely to hesitate before meeting the Frenchman’s €60 million release clause – a value that seems justified given Umtiti’s brilliant displays for Barcelona.
The Catalan giants are hence, intent on increasing the buyout clause for the 24-year-old before a bid is lodged by any of the suitors. Manchester United and Manchester City though, will look to pounce on the opportunity and reinforce their defence for the better.