Umtiti’s renewal is Barcelona’s priority

Barcelona have not denied their interest in Sevilla centre-back Clement Lenglet, but one of the main priorities for the club this summer is to tie Samuel Umtiti down to a new deal.

Lenglet is in line for a possible switch from Sevilla to the Camp Nou this summer in a deal worth around 30 million euros.

However, contrary to what Mundo Deportivo has published, the agreement is far from finished.

That is because there are other priorities on the slate for the Azulgrana.

As far as centre-backs are concerned, Barcelona’s biggest issue is the contractual situation of Umtiti.

The Cameroon-born defender, who has not played in the last two games due to a mysterious discomfort in his left knee, signed an contract in 2016 with a release clause set at just 60m euros.

Two years on, his great performances have piqued the interest of several clubs, who would have no problem meeting that figure.

Aware of his position of strength, Umtiti has asked for his salary to practically be tripled and bringing him more in line with what Gerard Pique is making, a man who has been a vital part of the Barcelona defence for almost a decade.

The club understands the willingness of the player to earn more, but not to those extremes.

“When you negotiate, you are looking for harmony and for us [Umtiti] is an important player, a certain starter and we will try to renew him,” president Josep Maria Bartomeu said.

On the one hand, Barcelona’s sporting department are combing the market in search of short-term solutions in the event that Umtiti does not renew, Thomas Vermaelen opts not to see out his contract or Yerry Mina leaves on loan.

Hence, the interesting option of Lenglet has cropped up but the efforts are now focused much more on Umtiti and on securing the future of the 24-year-old.

They want to do so before the World Cup, but there is another key figure in this whole process, with Robert Fernandez’s future at the club unclear.

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