Barcelona concern will grow amid worrying talk of £50m exit for key figure

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Given the lack of options in defence at Barcelona currently, the last thing that the Catalan giants want is to lose a player like Samuel Umtiti.

The Frenchman is currently sidelined through injury, but he has established himself as a fundamental piece at the Nou Camp in offering defensive solidity at the back.

With Javier Mascherano and Thomas Vermaelen the alternatives alongside Gerard Pique, it doesn’t offer much long-term reassurance given their age and injury record respectively.

In turn, keeping Umtiti and even strengthening in defence has to be the priority for Barcelona, but according to The Sun, they are at risk of losing their French centre-half for just £50m.

In a week in which Liverpool splashed out a whopping £75m fee to sign Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, as reported by BBC Sport, it is naturally going to raise question marks about the transfer market in modern-day football and the amounts being spent.

Conversely, given his standing for club and country and at 24 years of age with a number of years at the top still ahead of him, £50m for Umtiti could arguably be seen as sensible business.

Given Man City and Man Utd have the first and third best defensive records in the Premier League respectively, it’s debatable as to why either club would want to spend more money on defenders, as suggested in the report.

Especially in United’s case, with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo and Victor Lindelof at Jose Mourinho’s disposal, they seem to have more than enough in that department.

In contrast, Pep Guardiola could argue that he needs defensive reinforcements with Vincent Kompany continuing to suffer with injury setbacks while John Stones has been sidelined this season too.

Barcelona will of course be hoping to keep hold of Umtiti such is his importance to the team, and so perhaps they may have to do something about that £50m release clause to give themselves more security.

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