Pep Guardiola eyes shock £50m raid on Barcelona in January for pivotal figure

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There’s concerning transfer news for Barcelona on Sunday, as it’s been claimed that Man City boss Pep Guardiola has set his sights on Samuel Umtiti.

The 24-year-old joined the Catalan giants from Lyon last year, and has gone on to establish himself as an important piece in their backline, both in the short-term and long-term.

While he’s currently sidelined with an injury, it has raised alarm bells over the lack of quality and depth that Barcelona possess in that department with Thomas Vermaelen or Javier Mascherano the only options to step in and partner Gerard Pique, and so Ernesto Valverde will surely have no desire whatsoever to see Umtiti leave.

In his defence, Vermaelen has done a great job since coming into the side, helping Barcelona keep four clean sheets in their last four games, but Umtiti’s return will undoubtedly be welcomed.

However, whether or not he is still around at the Nou Camp for much longer beyond that remains to be seen, as The Sun report Guardiola is plotting a £50m January raid on Barca for the French international.

That is the release clause fee in his contract which is shocking considering transfer fees around Europe in recent times, and so it would arguably be a great deal if City were able to pull it off. It’s added that Guardiola could face competition from old rival Jose Mourinho and Man Utd for Umtiti.

Nevertheless, City need him more given the injury to John Stones and the continued setbacks being suffered by stalwart Vincent Kompany, which is leaving Guardiola light in that department.

Combined with the fact that left-footed Umtiti would add great balance to the backline too which could be key, it would be another major step in strengthening the squad for Guardiola as he continues to chase major honours this season.

City have won 19 of their 20 Premier League games so far this season to open up a 14-point lead over the nearest rivals, while they remain on course in the Champions League and cup competitions to win silverware too.

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