Manchester United have reportedly received a major boost in pursuit of Samuel Umtiti, with Barcelona in no rush to renew his contract.
According to a report by Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Samuel Umtiti’s stint at Barcelona appears to be heading towards a swift end. Barcelona are in no rush to hand the Frenchman a new improved contract, amid interest from Manchester United over a move in the summer transfer window.
Umtiti has established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the world during his short stint at Barcelona. Since moving to Camp Nou in the summer of 2016, the player has become a mainstay at the back for the Blaugrana, and is one of the most pivotal figures for the club at the present moment.
An alarming drop in form was telling against AS Roma, who dumped Barcelona out of the Champions League, largely due to Umtiti’s shortcomings at the back. Nevertheless, the player, who has made 36 appearances across all competitions for the club, remains an important figure at Camp Nou, although his future has become a subject of widespread speculation in recent weeks.
Umtiti is at an impasse with the Barcelona board over the terms of his deal, and is seeking a bumper rise in wages in order to remain committed to the club. The uncertainty over his future has piqued the interest of several club, with Manchester United leading the race to sign him.
The Red Devils are set for a defensive overhaul in the summer, with Jose Mourinho admittedly unhappy with his side’s frailties at the back. The heart of defence is the major area that has been lacking stability this season, with only Eric Bailly managing to impress the Manchester United boss on a consistent basis.
Marcos Rojo too, seems to be in Mourinho’s good books, but the same can’t be said for Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, both of whom have been rumoured to be facing the axe from the manager. With Victor Lindelof taking time to adjust in England, Umtiti is a viable target for Manchester United, with his contract standoff with Barcelona giving them enough impetus to pursue a move.
Reports have suggested that Manchester United are ready to offer Umtiti the terms he has been demanding from Barcelona, which stands them in good stead in pursuit of the player. And the latest development would provide a major spring in their steps.
Barcelona are in no rush to offer Umtiti a new contract, much less one that contains a major bump in his wages. The club hierarchy are of the opinion that the player must prove that he is deserving of the salary he is commanding before actually offering him those terms.
This now provides Manchester United the boost to launch the offensive for Umtiti, and tempt him to Old Trafford with a salary hike. It now remains to be seen if the latest development indeed takes the player one step closer to the Red Devils, or if he ends up biding his time at Barcelona.
Barcelona might just be open to his departure as well, with reports suggesting that they have drawn up a list of players who can replace him at Camp Nou in the summer.