Samuel Umtiti will reportedly use interest from Manchester United in his negotiations with Barcelona over a new contract, with the aim of receiving a bumper new deal.
According to Sport‘s Albert Masnou (h/t Joe Short of the Express), the Red Devils made contact with the defender in January and were prepared to offer him a net annual salary of £5.3 million.
While Umtiti was reluctant to depart halfway through the campaign, he is said to have had his head turned by the approach. When he enters talks with Barcelona over his planned new contract next year, his agent will take into account the offer United put on the table.
The Blaugrana’s priority with Umtiti’s new deal is to increase his £53 million (€60 million) buyout clause to a less attainable figure.
The Frenchman’s form has seen his clause attract attention of late, per Yahoo Sport’s Andrew Gaffney:
Umtiti arrived at Barcelona from Lyon in the summer of 2016, and over the last 18 months, he has firmly established himself among La Liga’s best defenders.
Football journalist David Cartlidge is an admirer:
Umtiti’s technical ability makes him tailor-made to shine at the Camp Nou. He’s comfortable with the ball at his feet and uses that talent to carry the ball out from the back.
The 24-year-old’s distribution is impeccable, too, per OptaFranz:
He’s more than just technically capable, though. Umtiti is an outstanding defender, a powerful ball-winner in the air and on the ground, and he reads the game well, so he’d be a fine capture for virtually any side.
In today’s market, his buyout clause is easily reachable for a number of sides, so it’s imperative Barca do increase it.
However, his form has understandably caught the attention of other elite sides, and the calibre of his play since joining is deserving of a raise—Barcelona will need to be prepared to give him one to secure his long-term future.
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