Although nothing has yet been agreed, Barcelona are confident of retaining defender Samuel Umtiti this summer despite interest from Manchester United, according to reports in Spain.
Earlier in the season, it looked certain that the France international would be heading for the Camp Nou exit door following the conclusion of this campaign after the player turned down a new contract with the club.
Bartomeu: "Umtiti? We want him to stay here, but within our salary scale."— Barça Centre (@barcacentre) April 26, 2018
However, according to SPORT, the Barca hierarchy are closing in on reaching a new agreement with the centre back, with recent discussions proving more fruitful than those of a few months ago.
It was claimed that Umtiti's initial demands would have made him one of Barcelona's highest paid players; second only to Lionel Messi, and that if the Catalonians were not prepared to match his request, he would look elsewhere.
Manchester United were said to be willing to stump up the cash; both the Cameroon-born guardian's £60m release clause as well as his somewhat eye-watering wage demands.
However, after a break in negations; offering time to reflect for both parties, discussions have commenced again, with the player now reportedly seeing Blaugrana as his best option, although whether Josep Maria Bartomeu and co. have managed to lower their defender's expectations remains to be seen.
The report claims that no deal has been signed as of yet; however, the LaLiga champions-elect are keen to complete the paperwork before Umtiti heads of to the World Cup in Russia this summer.
An announcement, either way, is expected in the next three weeks, with the most likely outcome seeing the France international donning the famous blue and red of Barcelona again next season.