Blow for Manchester United as Barcelona ‘try to reach agreement’ with defender

Samuel Umtiti

Manchester United have been dealt a blow as Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said to radio station RAC 1 that the Catalans are in talks with defender Samuel Umtiti over a new contract.

The French international had an uncertain future this season as he’d been unable to agree an extension, which led to interest from United, but Bartomeu has revealed negotiations are ongoing.

He said: “Umtiti has a contract. We are talking with him to renew it. We try to maintain a salary structure that has a certain harmony. We will try to reach an agreement because he has had a good season. The important thing is that we work in peace.”

Umtiti joined Barcelona from Olympique Lyonnais in 2016 and has made more than 80 appearances in all competitions. The 24-year-old has become a regular alongside Gerard Pique at the heart of the defence and wanted a new deal that reflected his worth.

The Daily Star say United manager Jose Mourinho is looking to strengthen his defensive options and preferably wants a left-footed centre-back this summer. With Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind both expected to leave at the end of the season due to a lack of playing time, Umtiti was earmarked as the player to come in as a replacement.

However, Barcelona could be set to disappoint the Red Devils as they look to tie the coveted centre-back down to a new and improved deal, which should end any speculation about his short-term future.

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