Barcelona transfer news: United lurking as Umtiti contract talks stall, Midfielder wants summer exit and more - 25th February 2018
Samuel Umtiti seriously considering Manchester United move
The Frenchman is currently the most important centre-back at the club as proved by his performances since joining the Blaugrana from Lyon in 2016. As rare as it is to find quality left-sided centre-backs, Umtiti is just 24-years old and is already one of the best defenders in world football. On the other hand, Gerard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen are on the wrong side of 30 while January signing, Yerry Mina, will take time to adapt to a new league.
As per Don Balon, it is Mina who informed Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde about the possibility of Umtiti leaving Camp Nou. The Frenchman has a release clause of €60 million which is pretty less in the current market. Hence, the Catalan outfit have been locked in contract talks with the player to renew his deal and slap a huge release clause for his signature.
However, the talks have broken down as per the report with the French international asking for €8 million in wages per season while Barcelona do not want to pay more than €6 million. Thus, Umtiti is seriously considering a move to the Premier League with Manchester United interested for quite some time now.
Barcelona will have to act fast and tie down the player else, they could face a massive problem in the summer.
Rafinha wants to make Inter loan move permanent
The Brazilian found himself surplus to requirements at Camp Nou, especially with the arrivals of Ousmane Dembele in the summer and Philippe Coutinho in January. Injuries did not help his cause either as he managed to make only one appearance this season before he was allowed to leave on loan in the recently-concluded transfer window.
The 25-year old has made four substitute appearances for Inter Milan before receiving his first start this weekend as Luciano Spalleti gradually incorporates the midfielder into the first-team. The Nerazzurri have an option to make the loan move permanent in the summer for €35 million plus €3 million in variables, and the player wants it to happen. He told La Gazzetta Dello Sport:
"Of course, that's what I want, I did not come here thinking about recovering the form and then go back to Barcelona, I want to stay, then obviously my future will depend on Inter."
Rafinha further spoke about his admiration for Spalletti as he said:
"Apart from his football preparation, I like people like him who tell you things in the face, we had already spoken over the phone when I was still in Barcelona, we talked about his football ideas, he knows I can play in all the positions in midfield, but also in attack."
While the midfielder has a long way to go, it goes to show that given a chance, Rafinha will not mind making a career at the San Siro.
Barcelona drop Nabil Fekir interest
Ernesto Valverde is no longer interested in signing the 24-year old, as per Sport. The main reason behind the Blaugrana dropping interest in the midfielder is his position, as per the report. Fekir is primarily a left-sided midfielder and the arrival of Coutinho is expected to be one of the key reasons behind the decision.
Thus, the Catalan outfit will look to strengthen elsewhere, including getting a quality back-up for Luis Suarez, who is already above 30 years of age. While this comes as a blow for Fekir who would definitely love to play for one of the biggest clubs in world football, it is a welcome news for Arsenal.
The Gunners have been interested in the player and their manager, Arsene Wenger, wants the player signed before the World Cup starts. Thus, Barcelona's loss is Arsenal's gain as a top-quality player could switch to England from Lyon.