Barcelona are reportedly sensibly prioritising Samuel Umtiti’s future and hope to push forward with reaching an agreement with the Frenchman.
Alongside Gerard Pique, the 24-year-old has established a strong partnership at the back for the Catalan giants. That has resulted in them conceding just 19 goals in 33 La Liga games, earning them the second best defensive record in the league as they remain unbeaten.
With a lack of quality and depth behind that duo as Yerry Mina has yet to fully convince while ageing stalwart Thomas Vermaelen has had his injury troubles, the last thing that coach Ernesto Valverde needs is to see his options in defence get shorter.
As reported by Mundo Deportivo, doubts have emerged over Umtiti’s contract situation, but it’s claimed that not only do Barcelona want to secure a new agreement before the World Cup, but they wish to include a €250m+ release clause in the new deal, compared to his current €60m clause.
However, in another sensible suggestion, it’s claimed that Barcelona will consider a back-up plan, with Sevilla defender Clement Lenglet eyed as a potential replacement if Umtiti leaves, with the 23-year-old having a €30m release clause of his own in his current contract.
In an ideal world, Barca will want to keep Umtiti. Not only has the French international established himself as a pivotal figure for Valverde, but he still has a large chunk of his career ahead of him to improve further.
Agreeing on a new deal would strengthen their position in keeping him if the €250m+ release clause is added, while the transfer headache that could come with trying to prise Lenglet away would arguably distract them from addressing other areas of the squad.
As a result, they’ll be hopeful that Umtiti’s future can be sorted out before the World Cup, allowing them to prioritise other transfer targets for the rest of the summer.