Manchester United’s defensive woes have been well documented this season, which is exactly why Jose Mourinho has decided to bring in a new defender.
The center-back pairing has been shaky and they have 32-year-old wingers for fullbacks. In all fairness, Antonio Valencia has been one of the best right-backs in the league but considering it is Manchester United they ought to have better options.
Eric Balley has been a revelation at Manchester United. Ever since he stepped into the backline, he’s been as solid as it gets. Strong in the air and physically imposing, with a wide passing range, he’s one of the first names on the team sheet whenever fit.
The issue has been his partner. Mourinho has tried it all. Smalling, Jones, Lindelof, Rojo. Neither seems to work. As good as Jones has been this season, injuries have disrupted his form. Lindelof is very error-prone, while Smalling just lacks quality. Hence Mourinho looks to add reinforcements in the summer.
Umtiti has been made the center-back role his own since his arrival. The 24-year-old has taken to the position like a duck to water. Partnering Pique and forming an airtight defense. The Frenchman has been a regular for both club and county, putting in a solid performance every time he takes the field.
Umtiti currently has a release clause of 60 million pounds, well within the affordability of the 20-time league winners. Barcelona has been stalling on a new contract, because of the Frenchman’s wage demands. This has put Manchester United on high alert. Reports suggest that they’ve ready begin talks with him to put a summer move in place.
Barcelona needs to be very careful in terms of contract dealings. Big money signings of Coutinho and Dembele has significantly increased their wage bill. Add-ons in both those deals could amount to another 60 million Pounds. Hence they have been stalling the contract which increases his wages from 4 to 9 million euros per year.
In spite of what reports claim this deal is unlikely to go through. Umtiti and the Barcelona board have come out to say that a new contract is in the pipeline. He’s become a very important player for the club already. His departure could really hurt the club. Pique is getting old, while Mina is still a raw talent. a move that every United fan would definitely like to see, but is one that’s unlikely to go through.