Barcelona’s Umtiti linked with Man United

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Barcelona and France center back Samuel Umtiti has been linked with a move to Manchester United as talks over a new deal at the Nou Camp continue.

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Umtiti, 24, arrived at Barcelona for $30 million in the summer of 2016 from Ligue 1 side Lyon and has impressed in Catalan with Mundo Deportivo claiming that he’s quite happy to stay at Barcelona and wants a new deal worth over $11.2 million per season.

However Umtiti does have a $73 million release clause in his current contract at Barca and the club are reportedly keen to lock the powerful French center back down to new terms to fend off interest from United and others.

It is believed Jose Mourinho has made signing a new center back a top target this summer as the form and fitness of Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo has left him short on many occasions this season with Eric Bailly the clear first-choice central defender for the Red Devils.

Imagine Umtiti and Bailly together in the heart of United’s defense…

Powerful. Strong in the air. Tremendous reading of the game. Able to pick out passes from the back. Yeah, that would be a ridiculously good partnership, at least on paper.

Umtiti is a regular for France and will surely be a star at the 2018 World Cup this summer, and if that’s the case then $73 million would be a very doable deal to sign one of the best center backs on the planet right now.

Barcelona need to hurry up and give Umtiti a new deal so he can not only get paid what his recent performances deserve but also so they can get rid of that pesky release clause.

Barca knows better than most how release clauses can come back to bite you in the backside…