Lionel Messi concern growing over Barcelona losing €60m teammate

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Barcelona star Lionel Messi is reportedly worried that the club could lose defender Samuel Umtiti this summer, and it’s a warranted concern.

The Catalan giants simply can’t afford to see the Frenchman leave the Nou Camp, as Umtiti has firmly established himself as a pivotal figure in Ernesto Valverde’s side.

The 24-year-old has made 25 appearances in all competitions, and in turn has formed an important partnership with Gerard Pique in the heart of the defence.

While Valverde does have Thomas Vermaelen and January signing Yerry Mina in reserve, it’s fair to say that they can ill-afford to lose one of their top choices in defence as it would severely weaken them, such is their quality and partnership.

According to Don Balon, as re-reported by The Express, that’s the problem they face as it’s claimed that Manchester United are willing to pay Umtiti’s €60m release clause, and so that in turn is causing concern for Messi.

From a Barcelona perspective, it would make a lot of sense to try and reach a new agreement with the former Lyon star to remove that reported release clause, as it’s seemingly within reach of their European rivals which makes it problematic.

In turn, until that happens, Messi’s concern is warranted and will grow further between now and the end of the season it seems.

Umtiti has proven his quality and importance to this side, and so an exit would be a huge blow which would also force them to go out and try and find a likely expensive replacement given today’s transfer market. Big fees are even being spent for defenders, with the £57m splashed out by Man City to sign Aymeric Laporte being a prime example, as per BBC Sport.

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