Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde has stressed that Samuel Umtiti is clearly content at the Camp Nou amid the ongoing speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United.
The France international has developed into Barcelona’s best centre-back this term, but his £52m release clause has supposedly caught the eye of Europe’s elite ahead of the summer.
A recent report suggested that United could be prepared to treble Umtiti’s wages in order to lure him to Old Old Trafford, but according to Valverde, the Frenchman remains a ‘very important player’ for the club.
“I don’t know what Umtiti’s said, I have not followed his comments. My understanding is Umtiti is happy here and we are happy with him, I hope he will continue for many years because he is very important both on and off the field. We hope the negotiations will come to fruition and that he will be able to continue for many years here,” he said.
Earlier this week, Umtiti claimed that United were just one of the many clubs interested in his signature, and he could probably be using the attention as a leverage to earn a bumper contract at the Camp Nou.
The Frenchman is keen to join the second-tier of highest earners at Barcelona, which include Andres Iniesta and Luis Suarez, and the Spanish giants may have to sort out his contract quickly or else face the prospect of losing him, at what is considered an affordable release clause – in the present market.