BARCELONA are preparing to offer Samuel Umtiti a new contract that will bump up his release clause.
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has identified the youngster as a top target to bolster his defence in January.
Umtiti would become the most expensive defender in football history if a club was to trigger his £53million release clause.
Mourinho has been enticed by this figure, but he is concerned that he may not get the funds to boost his squad in the New Year.
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According to Spanish publication Marca, the Spanish giants are wary of losing the defender during the next transfer window.
The 23-year-old is one of the lowest paid players in the squad despite starting nine of Barca’s XI La Liga fixtures this term.
He has been a key player at the Nou Camp following his £21m switch from Lyon in 2016.
Umtiti is no hurry to renew his current contract – that is set to expire in 2021.
The central defender has previously stated that he will only open talks with other clubs after the World Cup next summer.
Despite spending £300million in less than 18 months, Mourinho is determined to secure Umtiti’s signature to aid his defensive crisis.
He splashed out £30m on Victor Lindelof from Benfica but the 23-year-old has only played 68 minutes of league football since his move.
Chris Smalling has gone off the boil at Old Trafford to add to the Portuguese bosses troubles.
United are currently eight points behind Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.