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United could pounce for Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti

Barça are reportedly unwilling to meet Umtiti’s contract demands.

Barcelona v Atletico Madrid - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

It’s increasingly clear that Manchester United will be in the market for a centre-back come the summer, and Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti is said to be high up José Mourinho’s shortlist.

The 24-year-old French international is reportedly demanding an £8 million-per-year contract at Camp Nou, which Barça are unwilling to pay. Meanwhile United — as you may have noticed — aren’t really in a position to be choosy. Ed Woodward’s got the money, and looks set to splash it.

Umtiti’s current deal, signed when he arrived at Barça from Lyon in 2016, runs until 2021. However, the La Liga outfit may be beginning to panic about the fact that his current deal contains a release clause of £52 million — one that doesn’t look all that big in football’s current transfer climate.

Barça spent €25 million to sign Umtiti a couple of years ago, and it has proven to be money well-spent. He’s established himself as a regular feature in Ernesto Valverde’s first team this season, partnering ex-United man Gerard Piqué at the heart of the defence.