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Man Utd ready to push through £53m deal following boost in pursuit of French star

By on 1st March 2018

Manchester United are still hoping to push through a £53m deal to sign Samuel Umtiti after being handed a major boost in their pursuit of the Barcelona defender, according to the Mirror.

Umtiti has developed in to one of the most highly-rated centre-backs in European football since joining Barca from Lyon in 2016 with the French international now an established part of Ernesto Valverde’s starting eleven.

The 24-year-old’s impressive form has attracted interest from Manchester United with the Mirror claiming that Jose Mourinho has identified Umtiti as a key summer transfer target.

Jose Mourinho is expected to be in the market for another centre-back amid speculation that Phil Jones and Chris Smalling could be sold this summer and Umtiti is firmly on his radar.

The defender is under contract until 2021 but Barcelona are concerned he could be snapped-up on the cheap due to a £53m [€60m] release clause that’s written in to his current deal.

It looked like United could miss out on the Frenchman after Goal reported that Umtiti’s camp had reached a verbal agreement with Barca chiefs over a new long-term contract that would see his release clause increase significantly.

However, the Mirror claim that Barca are not allowed to sign-off the new deal without breaking Financial Fair Play ruled so they will have to wait until the new financial year in Spain before Umtiti can sign his new contract.

That delay has opened the door for United to still try and push through a deal as they could snap him up for just £53m if they are able to persuade Umtiti to reject Barca and move to Old Trafford.

United obviously have the financial firepower to beat whatever deal the Catalans have put on the table so it would be down to the player to decide where his future lies if Mourinho decides to trigger his clause.

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