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Opinion: Barcelona’s Priority Should Be Renewing Samuel Umtiti

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Manchester United are very keen on a transfer

Valencia v Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Fotopress/Getty Images

Barcelona’s renewal talks with Samuel Umtiti are “jammed” according to Diario SPORT, because the team does not want to pay him the salary Manchester United offered - 9 million euro a year, net. The Frenchman has refused to answer whether he would remain at Barcelona or not, with United said to be ready to pay his release clause should he choose not to renew.

Of course, a team has to do whatever possible to get the best financial deal. They cannot give into all demands a player makes, some amount of haggling is to be expected. But Barcelona shouldn’t go to the edge here. It’s playing with fire.

Given Umtiti’s age and quality, you have, potentially, one of the world’s best defenders for a very long time. Finding a replacement, if one exists who is as good, will not be cheap.

There’s no question that retaining Umtiti should be a priority for the Catalans. Umtiti could simply be playing off United’s interest to get a better contract. That’s certainly within his rights. And Barcelona can make arguments to reduce his wage demands, since he seems extremely comfortable in Barcelona. At the end of the day though, the Blaugrana simply can’t screw this up. They have to be prepared to splash some money. Once again, the alternative will not be cheap.