- Barcelona stalwart Gerard Pique wards off Man City and Man Utd from Umtiti
- Frenchman has a £55m release clause in his contract with Catalan giants
- Pique convinced that he will stay at the Nou Camp for many more years
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Given that they’re already worryingly short defensively, the last thing Barcelona need to do is see Samuel Umtiti leave the Nou Camp.
The Frenchman has established himself in the heart of the defence alongside Gerard Pique, with only Javier Mascherano and Thomas Vermaelen in reserve to step in, as the latter has done during Umtiti’s recent stint on the sidelines due to injury.
As noted by Mundo Deportivo, Yerry Mina is set to join the Catalan giants and so they will bolster that area of the squad, but Pique has issued a hands-off warning when it comes to Umtiti, with the Metro reporting that both Man Utd and Man City have been paired with an interest in the defender.
It’s difficult to see why Jose Mourinho feels he would need another defensive player, with the likes of Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof already at his disposal.
In contrast, it’s easier to see why Pep Guardiola would be interested, with Vincent Kompany’s injury problems continuing leaving them a little lighter than he would perhaps like.
However, Pique doesn’t believe Barcelona will be bidding Umtiti farewell any time soon, as he’s not concerned by his £55m release clause either, as per the Metro.
“I’m not worried about what clubs might or might not do,” he is quoted as saying. “Umtiti is a great player and we expect him to stay at Barca for many more years and for him to enjoy his football with us.
“We’re very happy with Umtiti and I’m sure he’s going to stay here for a very long time.”
At 24 years of age, Umtiti has got a long way to go in his career to improve and develop further, and so it’s no surprise that Barca would want to keep hold of him. With Pique set to turn 31 next month, the French international may even find himself being the defensive lynchpin in the side before too long.