Chelsea To Steal March On Man Utd By Opening Talks To Sign £53.2m Star

By on March 14, 2018

The transfer window is closed but managers are working hard on their plans for the summer so we’ll bring you all the latest gossip from around the globe. Today, Chelsea are to hold talks to sign Samuel Umtiti…

Chelsea are ready to steal a march on Manchester United by opening talks with Barcelona over a deal to sign Samuel Umtiti this summer, according to the Express.

Umtiti has developed in to one of the most highly-rated centre-backs in European football since joining Barca from Lyon in 2016 and he’s an integral part of Ernesto Valverde’s starting eleven.

However, the 24-year-old’s long-term future is in doubt as he’s yet to sign a new contract at the Nou Camp and Barca are struggling to meet his wage demands.

The situation has alerted clubs here in the Premier League as the Express reported earlier this month that Chelsea and Man Utd are ready to battle it out over his signature this summer.

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.

However, it looks like Chelsea are ready to steal a march on their rivals as the Express is citing a report from Don Balon that claims the Blues will hold transfer talks with Barcelona tonight.

The two clubs meet in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at the Nou Camp this evening and it seems Chelsea want to take the opportunity to discuss a potential deal to sign Umtiti.

The west Londoners are on the look out for a top class centre-back to replace David Luiz – who’s expected to leave after falling out of favour under Antonio Conte – and Umtiti has emerged as a prime target.

antonio conte chelsea

The French international has a £53.2m release clause written in to his current contract so there is little Barcelona could do to prevent the defender leaving if the likes of Chelsea or United agree to meet that figure.

However, Barca head coach Valverde is confident Umtiti is happy at the club and will snub any attempts to lure him away. He’s quoted as saying by the Express:

“To an extent, the buyout clause is made high so that you can’t buy the player. But, as time goes by, that fee doesn’t seem so high at all.

“But the player still has to want to leave. We’re very happy with Umtiti and I’m sure he’s going to stay here for a very long time.”

READ MORE –> Man Utd transfer news | Chelsea transfer news

We’ll have to wait and see how things develop over the coming months but Umtiti would be a superb signing if Chelsea or indeed United could manage to pull it off this summer.

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