Catalan giants Barcelona are according to reports getting increasingly nervous as regards the future of their French defender Samuel Umtiti as the January transfer window approaches.
The French international centre-back has a release clause in his Barcelona contract believed to be about €60 million and according to reports, he has turned down contract negotiation talks.
The reports of unease in the Nou Camp concerning Umtiti is against the backdrop of interest from Premier League leaders Manchester City who have now join city rivals Manchester United in the race to sign the 24-year old.
The release clause provides little hindrance for the Manchester clubs as they could easily cough-up the fee.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is keen on the defender as is Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola, with both managers looking to bolster their respective back lines.
Reports from Catalonia say, sources close to the defender have disclosed that he is not looking to have talks about a new contract with the club until after the summer World cup in Russia. This sets the scene for a nervous first half of 2018 for the Spanish league leaders as interests in Umtiti increase.
Samuel Umtiti signed for Barcelona for a fee of €25 million from French side Lyon in 2016. He went on to establish himself as first-choice in central defence for the club alongside Gerard Pique and ended his first season with the club by winning the Copa del Rey.