Jose Mourinho 'In Regular Contact' with Samuel Umtiti Amid Man Utd Bid Talk

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 9, 2018

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 04:  Samuel Umtiti of Barcelona reacts during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on March 4, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is reportedly in "regular contact" with Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti, with the Red Devils understood to be offering the Frenchman more than twice what he earns in Spain.

Sport (h/t Metro) reported United are willing to meet Umtiti's €60 million (£53.4 million) buyout clause, and Mourinho is personally campaigning to convince the defender to move to Old Trafford.

According to the report, United representatives are having "constant meetings" with Umtiti's brother and agent, Yannick. The Premier League club are said to have offered a wage package worth €9 million (£8 million) per year, which is more than double his current €4 million (£3.5 million) per-year earnings.

Sport's reports suggest Mourinho and United are circumventing football law regarding talking to players contracted to other clubs, although Sport Witness insisted this isn't outside the norm:

Mourinho is also said to be recruiting fellow French players Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial as a means to tempt Umtiti into moving, although he already has compatriots Ousmane Dembele and Lucas Digne for company.

The Premier League powerhouse have one potential world-class centre-back in Eric Bailly, who arrived from Villarreal in 2016, but faith in the likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo has diminished of late.

The same report mentioned Barcelona remain confident their defender will pen a new deal at the Camp Nou, although Sky Sports' La Liga expert Guillem Balague indicated in February that may not be a sure thing:

Umtiti arrived in Catalonia from Lyon in the summer of 2016 and has quickly adapted to Spain's top flight, cementing his place as Gerard Pique's preferred partner in central defence under manager Ernesto Valverde.

Sport (h/t Football Espana) previously reported Barca wish to increase Umtiti's buyout clause to more than three times its current value to €200 million (£178 million), showing the kind of bargain he could be right now.

The France international won the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Supercup in his first season with Barcelona, and the temptation to leave could lessen if his club wins a European and domestic treble this season.

Despite the more lucrative possibilities presented by a move to England's top flight, Yahoo's Andrew Gaffney highlighted how on-pitch success could be enough to keep the star at the Camp Nou:

United are second to a rampaging Manchester City side in the Premier League, 16 points off the leaders, while they still have a chance at the UEFA Champions League crown and face Sevilla in the last 16.

Umtiti's current contract doesn't expire until 2021, but the low value of his buyout clause means this summer could be one of great change for the player should United trigger it and push ahead with their interest.

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