Barcelona have reportedly put a deadline on when they want to sort out the future of key defender Samuel Umtiti amid ongoing speculation over his future.
The 24-year-old joined the Catalan giants in 2016, and has since gone on to make 78 appearances in all competitions and has established himself as a key figure in the backline.
Having formed a pivotal partnership with Gerard Pique in the heart of the defence, Barcelona have conceded just 15 goals in 30 La Liga games this season, giving them the second-best defensive record in the league.
In turn, coupled with the fact that there isn’t a great deal of depth behind that duo with Yerry Mina snubbed from the squad again this weekend while Thomas Vermaelen has his history of injury troubles, Barcelona surely can’t afford to lose Umtiti this summer.
According to Sport, although they remain confident that he will stay and sign a new contract despite his €60m release clause, they have put a deadline in place at the end of May to determine his future one way or the other.
Ultimately, it’s a sensible strategy. It could force Umtiti into being clearer with his plans and commit his future to Barca. Or if he chooses to move on, it gives the Spanish giants plenty of time to identify a replacement and prepare for his eventual exit this summer.
Man Utd are specifically mentioned in the report as being an option for him as they are reportedly offering more money, but having established himself as a key figure at the Nou Camp and with the chance to win a history-making treble this season, there are arguably more than enough reasons to stay where he is.