Man United on red alert as Barcelona forced to delay new Umtiti deal

Barcelona have agreed terms with Samuel Umtiti over a new long-term contract, but the need to delay completion of the deal leaves the an opportunity for Manchester United to make a move.

The France international is already tied to the Barca until 2021 but his current contract include a €60 million buyout clause which they are keen to raise as part of a new terms.

Barca have been forced to hold off finishing the new deal until July 1 due to the constraints of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play laws.

The Catalans splashed out a club-record €160m on the signing of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in January, and they are not in a position to pay out on Umtiti’s new deal this season without breaching the laws put in place by FFP.

As a result, they have reached a gentlemen’s agreement with Umtiti’s representatives that will see him complete the deal on the first day of the 2018-19 season.

The same tactic was used by Barcelona in 2016 Neymar in January of that year ahead of the official signing of the deal the following July.

However, employing same approach with Umtiti may hurt Barca as rival clubs have the opportunity to sign the 24-year-old for just €60m based on his existing contract.

And that could leave the door open for Manchester United, who are thought to be keen on signing the Frenchman to make more defensive additions in the summer.

Jose Mourinho has said on numerous occasions that he will not be asking the club to add any more forwards this summer following the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, making midfield and defence figuring his priority ahead of the 2018-19 season.

United may be tempted into meeting the release clause in the centre-back’s existing deal, with a verbal promise being all that Barcelona can offer until the beginning of July thanks to their purchase of Coutinho during the January transfer window.


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