Barcelona have established a formidable backline which has been a pillar of their success this season, but reports claim it could be at risk of breaking up.
The Catalan giants have conceded just 24 goals in 36 La Liga games this year, giving them the second best defensive record in the league, which in turn has helped them to the title along with the Copa del Rey in a domestic double for Ernesto Valverde in his first season in charge.
A big factor behind that is the partnership between Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique in the heart of the defence, with the former establishing himself as a key figure and given he’s still only 24, he surely will be seen as a fundamental part of Barcelona’s success moving forward.
However, the Spanish champions may have a real problem on their hands, as according to Diario Gol, as re-reported by The Express, not only are Real Madrid, Man Utd and Paris Saint-Germain specifically mentioned as interested parties, but it’s claimed meetings have taken place while those clubs are said to be offering more money to Umtiti amid his contract troubles.
As noted by Goal.com, the French international has a €60m release clause in his contract, and so that will surely be within the spending power of the clubs named above given the reported fees that they’ve splashed out in recent years.
Couple that with how much quality Umtiti possesses with consistent and reliable centre-halves proving difficult to find in today’s market, it’s no surprise that such clubs are being linked with a swoop should contract negotiations fail to have the desired result for Barcelona.
In turn, it sounds like more than enough for the Catalan outfit to be concerned about, and so now it remains to be seen if talks do eventually result in a compromise or if they signal an exit from the Nou Camp for Umtiti.