BARCELONA president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed the Nou Camp club will not break the bank to keep hold of Manchester United target Samuel Umtiti.
Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti nutmegs Ter Stegen in training
Umtiti is regarded as one of the world’s top centre-backs and is under contract in Catalunya until the summer of 2021.
But his future is the subject of plenty of speculation amid an ongoing stand-off with regards to signing a new deal.
Umtiti is said to be demanding Barcelona increase his wages from £2.6m a year to £7.2m a year for him to stay put.
And widespread reports suggest United are ready to step in, meet the 24-year-old’s £52m (€60) release clause and pay him what he wants.
Manchester United have been linked with Samuel Umtiti and Marc Andre ter Stegen – but how would they fit into the team?
How could Manchester United line up with Samuel Umtiti and Marc-Andre ter Stegen
Bartomeu has now made a promising revelation that indicates Umtiti could have the door left open for him to join Manchester United.
"Umtiti is very important, he knows that, the fans know that," Bartomeu told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.
"He's only in the second year of his contract but our desire is for him to renew his deal.
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Manchester United target Samuel Umtiti is involved in a stand-off with Barcelona
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Josep Maria Bartomeu Barcelona
Josep Maria Bartomeu insists Barcelona will not break the bank to keep hold of Samuel Umtiti
"But, as directors, we have to make sure [players' wages] are within the salary structure to remain a competitive and sustainable club."
Umtiti is one of a number of centre-backs said to be on Jose Mourinho’s radar as he looks to bolster his defence.
Leicester’s Harry Maguire, Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and West Brom’s Jonny Evans have been touted as United targets as well.
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