Barcelona keen for Samuel Umtiti renewal but not at any cost

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Talks have stalled: Samuel Umtiti.

Barcelona club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed that the club is keen on extending defender Samuel Umtiti‘s contract but not at any cost.

While the French international is only in the second year of his five-year deal, his low release clause of €60 million has only served to increase speculation about him leaving Camp Nou this year.

The 24-year-old has formed an integral partnership with Gerard Pique at the back but is a hot target for Premier League giants Manchester United who are ready to pay his release clause.

So far, Umtiti has remained tight-lipped over his future but responded to growing rumours by kissing the Barca badge after scoring against Roma.

According to Diario Sportnegotiations have slowed down between Umtiti’s agent – who is also his brother, after demands of a higher wage – which would place him among the second tier of earners with Sergio Busquets and Pique.

Speaking about the situation, Bartomeu told Cadena Ser: “Umtiti is very important, he knows that, the fans know that.”

“He’s only in the second year of his contract but our desire is for him to renew his deal.

“But, as directors, we have to make sure [players’ wages] are within the salary structure to remain a competitive and sustainable club.”

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Barcelona target Antoine Griezmann reveals talks over his future are under way

David Cooper 28/04/2018
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Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann

Atletico Madrid frontman Antoine Griezmann has confirmed he is in talks with the club over his future.

Speculation has long gathered that the France star will leave the Spanish capital for Catalan giants Barcelona in the summer.

However, after scoring in the 1-1 draw with Arsenal in Atleti’s Europa League semi-final clash, the 27-year-old revealed his representatives are discussing his future plans.

Speaking to COPE after the match at the Emirates Stadium, Griezmann said: “If I’m going to continue at Atletico, I don’t know, we’ll see.

“We’re talking to the club to see what can be done.”

While Griezmann did not shed any light on where his future may lie, the statement does indicate a resolution will be reached in the near future.

Griezmann’s goalscoring exploits have seen him thrust into the limelight as one of Europe’s hottest properties and he further enhanced his reputation with the crucial equaliser on Thursday.

“In the goal I arrived in the area tired after the run I had made, but I was able to score. We needed that goal,” he added.

“Am I important? [Jan] Oblak is important, [Diego] Godin is important, Gabi when he entered the pitch was important… all the players are important.”

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PSG could be forced to sell Neymar while Barcelona look at Arthur alternatives

David Cooper 28/04/2018
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PSG star Neymar.

Though the summer transfer window is still a couple of months away, that hasn’t stopped the rumours of players potentially being on the move.

Across the world of football, there remains plenty of activity and stories that have football fans talking.

Here, we look at the latest transfer deals that could happen when the market reopens in June.

Get in touch with your thoughts too via Twitter and Facebook.

NEYMAR

Neymar has been out of action since injuring his ankle in February

Neymar has been out of action since injuring his ankle in February.

Neymar is again being linked with a move to Real Madrid as a report in CalcioMercato suggests Paris Saint-Germain could be forced to sell the Brazilian to avoid Financial Fair Play (FFP) sanctions.

The 26-year-old is apparently eager to force through a switch back to Spain but PSG will only agree to sell up should financial issues dictate.

ARTHUR 

Gremio midfielder Arthur

Gremio midfielder Arthur.

Barcelona could be about to ditch a move for Gremio’s star midfielder Arthur, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The Blaugrana are looking at cheaper alternatives with their option to buy at €35million forcing a rethink from Catalan club’s hierarchy. Real Betis’s Fabian is reportedly being considered.

Asked on Friday if he’d been contacted about their U-turn, the Brazil youth international said his advisors are handling the talks.

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