Manchester United have reportedly received a significant boost in the pursuit of Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti. The France international is currently in a contract impasse with the Catalan giants, who are reluctant to treble his current wages of £50,000-a-week.
According to Sport, the La Liga leaders are planning for the worst with Umtiti’s £52m release clause catching the elite clubs across Europe. The Frenchman had planned to negotiate a bumper contract on an extension beyond June 2021, but so far, he has found no breakthrough with Barca more concerned about the Financial Fair Play regulations.
Ernesto Valverde’s side have already sanctioned big-money deals for Philippe Coutinho’s transfer and Lionel Messi’s contract and their proposed move from Antoine Griezmann during the summer, puts them in a situation where they are reluctant to discuss player contracts.
As a result, United manager Jose Mourinho appears keen on pouncing on the uncertainty by triggering the player’s release clause whilst offering the Frenchman with his requested salary of around £8m-a-year.
Any deal, however, may depend on possible exits from Old Trafford, and Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are presently the leading candidates, who could be shown the exit door at the end of the campaign.