Barcelona fear that Liverpool buying Virgil Van Dijk could be the lynch-pin to serious repercussions for them.
With Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp finally spending £75 million on Southampton man Virgil Van Dijk to strengthen their back-four, with the Reds facing serious defensive problems in the first half of their season having conceded the most goals among the top 5 Premier League teams. However, with the Reds buying Van Dijk, they’ve secured one of the top 10 defenders in the world and Barcelona feel that it could mean the end for their star Samuel Umtiti.
According to reports from Spanish outlet Marca, the Catalan giants are worried about Samuel Umtiti’s future at the club with the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City very interested in the Frenchman’s services. However, what worries them most is the fact that the 24-year old’s release clause is set at only £60 million and with Liverpool paying £75 million, the club could be in danger.
While the Frenchman is out with an injury at the moment, Umtiti has slowly but steadily become a mainstay in the Barcelona back-line. Alongside Gerard Pique, the 24-year-old has grown since arriving last season and is a guaranteed starter when fit. However, with Manchester United and Manchester City, losing key defenders to injuries and not happy overall with their center-back pairing, a move for Samuel Umtiti could be possible.
For Jose Mourinho, who has main center-back Eric Baily injured long-term and new signing Victor Lindelof still not settled in the Premier League, is looking for someone who can come in and become the rock at the back for him. Especially since they’ve conceded 13 goals in their last ten games, keeping only 2 clean sheets in the process. While the Red Devils have been linked with the likes of David Luiz, Aymeric Laporte, and even Jose Maria Gimenez, bringing in Samuel Umtiti now at £60 million could be a brilliant deal.
The lack of urgency in the contract renewal of Samuel Umtiti could become a headache for Barça as his relatively low release clause of €60m has Man City and Man Utd ready to sign him with triple the salary he is currently earning at Barça. [@dircomPedro] pic.twitter.com/Ar8XShr1R7
— Catalan Edition (@CatalanEdition) December 28, 2017
Meanwhile, while Manchester City does still remain unbeaten, their defensive line has looked shaky at times, especially with John Stones sitting out with an injury and Vincent Kompany having made the physio’s bed his permanent home. However, while they do have Nicolas Otamendi, Pep Guardiola wants to bring in new and young talent to the club, especially since the Argentine is not the most reliable center-back at times. The former Barcelona manager does have a few targets, including Aymeric Laporte, Samuel Umtiti among others.
Liverpool buying Virgil Van Dijk for £75 million may have opened the floodgates, for teams all over the world. While it is certainly an insane amount of money to spend on a defender, Barcelona in particular fear that it could mean that they’ve predicted Samuel Umtiti’s value much lower than it actually is and could end up losing him in January or even in the summer.