Manchester City "want to snatch" Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona and it is a "feasible" operation. This is the story published on Wednesday by French outlet L'Équipe.
Contract talks required for Umtiti
The sense that the French central defender could be on his way out of the Camp Nou is gathering steam. Umtiti, who signed for Barça in the summer of 2016 for 25 million euros has a release clause of 60 million euros in his contract and much of the talk recently has been about his club taking steps to improve his conditions after impressing in the team. He arrived a relative unknown on the world stage, but has become a reliable figure in the heart of what is now Valverde's defence, as well as that of national team coach, Didier Deschamps. The player did miss the end of 2017 due to injury.
Pep keen on City defence strengthening
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has given responsibility this season to Otamendi and Stones in the centre of his back line, in light of Kompany's injuries and Mangala's lack of consistency. Umtiti at 60 million euros (a little more than the club paid in the summer for right back Kyle Walker) seems a bargain in today's valuations and this could reinforce an area of the pitch which is at most risk. The player is also likely to have changed his view of a Pep side after previously stating that "Pep Guardiola's Barça were a bit boring".
Umtiti has improved in his time in Barcelona and his manager will be hopeful that the internal talks bear fruit. This is especially key as 2018 sees the negotiation for Gerard Piqué's contract renewal.