Reports: Manchester United to trigger defender's £53 million release clause
What’s the rumour?
As per reports from The Metro, Jose Mourinho has made Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti his top transfer target and are ready to trigger his £53 million release clause. He is reportedly in constant contact with the Frenchman in a bid to persuade him to join the Red Devils.
In case you didn’t know...
Barcelona signed Umtiti for €25 million from Lyon in June 2016. The defender has established himself at the heart of Barcelona's defence and has been playing consistently well. Barcelona, however, want him to sign a new deal at the club and pushing for the same before the World Cup starts.
Umtiti's current deal is worth €4 million a year and United are willing to offer him up to €9 million a year.
The heart of the matter
Although Manchester United have improved a lot this season, they are short of quality options at the back. Their best defender Eric Bailly has missed four months through injury. Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo constantly find themselves on the treatment table and Mourinho had to resort to a combination of Smalling and Lindelof which has been shaky at times.
A player of Umtiti's calibre will add more steel to United's defence as they will look to improve their title credentials next year.
Jose Mourinho has identified him as the perfect solution to United's defensive woes and has been constantly trying to persuade him to make the move, as per reports. Although he has a contract till 2021, he has a £53 million release clause in his contract and Mourinho wants to trigger it this summer.
Rumour rating/probability -7/10
With many outlets reporting the same, there may be some truth in the news and if things go well for Mourinho and Manchester United, we may be able to see Umtiti in a red shirt next season.
Video: Umtiti in action this season
If indeed Umtiti is stalling on a new contract and United are ready to double his wages and trigger his release clause, Barcelona may find themselves in a helpless situation. A transfer will prove to be a huge loss for Barcelona and he is exactly the kind of no-nonsense defender Jose Mourinho craves for and will bring more quality to United's defence.