Barcelona hold emergency meeting over Umtiti after Man United interestDecember 29, 2017
Barcelona officials have held an emergency meeting at Camp Nou to improve the release clause of Samuel Umtiti, after interest from Manchester United.
The French international joined the Catalan side last summer from French club Lyon and he has instantly become a regular starter and fan favourite at the club, forming a solid partnership with Gerard Pique and ousting Javier Mascherano from the starting eleven.
Matched with his club form, the central defender has excelled for the French national side and will be looking to consolidate his place at the heart of their defence for the World Cup in Russia next summer.
Man United boss Mourinho is keen to push Barca and test their resolve over his relatively cheap release fee.
And, that has now led the Catalan club to move and improve that figure, after they saw Liverpool pay £75m for Virgil Van Dijk to Southampton.
Officials believe that United will attempt to spend similar and reach Umtiti’s release clause and have therefore now planned discussions with the Frenchman’s agent for next week.
Premier League side United have struggled to find a regular central defensive partnership this season and it is understood Mourinho wants to replace the likes of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.
Interest in Umtiti is far fetched, given Barca’s desire to build on he and Pique’s partnership, offering the latter a new deal in the recent days.
Mourinho has also been interested in Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, who has been linked with an Old Trafford move previously.