Man United 24-year-old target set to agree deal with £52m release clause

Samuel Umtiti of FC Barcelona during the spanish Copa del Rey semi-final, first leg match between FC Barcelona and Valencia, at Camp Nou Stadium, on February 1, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain (Photo by Maria Jose Segovia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Barcelona are reportedly redoubling their efforts to keep defender Samuel Umtiti in Spain amid reports linking him with Manchester United.

The club recently opened talks with the player’s agent about renewing his contract, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Umtiti is under contract with the Catalan outfit until 2021 but his current deal is said to include a €60m (£52m) release clause that interested parties could trigger.

Reports linking the 24-year-old with the Barca exit emerged following rumours that the club’s hierarchy was displeased with his performance last week’s 3-0 defeat at Roma, which knocked them out of the Champions League.

Umtiti joined Barca from French outfit Lyon in 2016.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils have reportedly prepared a ­summer bid for Leicester City defender Harry Maguire.

The 25-year-old has impressed for the Foxes since his switch from Hull City last summer, making 38 appearances in all competitions for the 2015-16 Premier League champions.

Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, is thought to be eyeing an overhaul of his defence at the end of the season, with the likes of Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw, Phil Jones, Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind all believed to be on borrowed time at Old Trafford.

According to The Mirror, Mourinho has been impressed with a raft of scouting reports on Maguire, who scored a last-gasp equaliser in December to deny United an away win over Leicester.

The report goes on to claim that the Foxes, who paid Hull £12.3m for the player’s services last summer, could be persuaded to do business starting at £35m.

Maguire has also impressed for England in recent months and is expected to be in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the Russia World Cup.