Manchester United and Manchester City to battle for Barcelona defender- release clause is cheap

Manchester United and Manchester City will battle to sign Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti according to reports.

Manager Jose Mourinho is looking to bolster his defence and is preparing a bid for the French centre-back.

Spanish outlet Don Balon state that both Manchester United and Manchester City are interested so a bidding war could ensue over January.

Don Balon claim that the £75m sale of Soythampton’s Virgil Van Dijk to Liverpool has opened the market up to allow Umtiti’s move to the Premier League as it makes Umtiti’s £50m release clause seem cheap in comparison.

And Manchester United and Manchester City are prepared to meet that £50m release clause according to the report.

Barcelona meanwhile are planning to offer the France international a new contract to persuade him to stay at the club.

Umtiti has become a regular fixture for the first team since arriving from Lyon in 2016. The 24-year-old has been lauded as one of Barcelona’s finest signings in the past three seasons and his ability and composure could possibly be one of the reasons why both Pep and Mourinho want him.

While Mourinho, arguably, has plenty of options in the defence, although their best defender Eric Bailly has been out injured for the majority of the season.

Umtiti’s contract runs until 2021 but Barca will be eager to sign him on a new deal with a higher release clause.

However, even if one or both of the Manchester clubs meet his release clause, it is ultimately down to Umtiti whether or not he chooses to leave or stay.  This will cause some uneasiness for Barca but it’s unlikely Umtiti will leave while he’s a first team player at the Camp Nou.

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