History has shown that it’s very rare that players move directly between rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid, but according to reports in Spain, the latter are hoping it happens this summer.
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The Catalan giants have established a solid partnership in the heart of their defence, with Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique emerging as being fundamental to their success.
Barca have conceded just 13 goals in 29 La Liga games so far this season, giving them the best defensive record in the league, and it’s been a similar story in terms of keeping things tight at the back in the Champions League and Copa del Rey.
As a result, Ernesto Valverde will have no desire to see his preferred defensive pairing broken up such has been their influence, particularly with a lack of real quality in depth with Yerry Mina and Thomas Vermaelen in reserve.
However, according to Diario Gol, as re-reported by The Express, that’s the continued fear that Barcelona face as it’s claimed Real Madrid have now entered the race alongside Man Utd for Umtiti, who has a €60m release clause in his contract and is struggling to agree on new terms at the Nou Camp.
It really is a concern for the La Liga leaders, as not only will they be desperate to avoid losing one of their most important players, but at €60m in today’s market, that would be considered by many as a bargain.
Umtiti is already a regular for club and country at a very high level, and at just 24 years of age, he has a long way to go in his career still and can be a pillar of any team for many more years.
If Barcelona can’t match his financial demands, which are reportedly the source of the issue, the report above would suggest that Man Utd and Real Madrid are ready to prise him away from the Nou Camp and what a bitter blow it would be to see him join their direct rivals.