FC Barcelona star Samuel Umtiti is in the middle of a contract dispute with his club, and is threatening to leave and join Manchester United.
That’s the view of Spanish media outlet Don Balon anyway, translated by the Daily Star.
The 24-year-old apparently wants a pay rise to stay in Catalonia, while Jose Mourinho has been given the go-ahead to active his £54million release clause if Umtiti does decide his future lies elsewhere.
This move makes perfect sense for Manchester United. The Red Devils’ defensive woes have been glaringly obvious recently, with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling both putting in some mediocre performances.
I’d be extremely surprised if this issue isn’t addressed over the summer, and Umtiti is a fantastic footballer who’s improving all the time. He could well be a long-term partner for Eric Bailly at the heart of United’s defence, and what a pairing that sounds like (on paper at least).
The main problem is the fact that the ball is firmly in FC Barcelona’s court. Umtiti is currently under contract until 2021 and a club with that stature aren’t going to be held to ransom. However, that release clause does stand and if United activate it and the player wants the move, then who knows what could happen.