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Barcelona on brink of announcing crucial deal to hand Valverde huge boost

Given the lack of quality depth that Barcelona have in their backline, the last thing that Ernesto Valverde needs is to lose any key individuals.

To their credit, the Catalan giants boasted the second best defensive record in La Liga on their way to the title last season, conceding just 29 goals in 38 games.

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In turn, that would suggest that they don’t need to worry too much over their defensive options. However, taking first-choice pairing Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique aside, they could be vulnerable.

January signing Yerry Mina is taking his time to adapt and was used sparingly in the second half of the season, while Thomas Vermaelen isn’t getting any younger and has had his fair share of injury problems throughout his career.

With that mind, the fact that Sport are reporting that Umtiti will potentially sign his renewal next week either on Wednesday or Thursday, extending the length of his deal with a wage rise and his €60m release clause increased, it sounds like the ideal new contract for both parties.

The 24-year-old has established himself as a fundamental figure for Barcelona, making 83 appearances in two seasons since he joined from Lyon in 2016 while he’s also now a regular for France too.

Having developed a strong partnership with Pique, Barca will know the importance of keeping that solid foundation in place and building on it to repeat their dominance domestically while also looking to do better in the Champions League next season.

Top-level centre-halves are arguably difficult to find in today’s market for a decent price, and so to avoid selling him and having to search for a replacement, which allows them to focus on other areas of the squad, Barcelona will surely be delighted to get the deal done this coming week as suggested.

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