Barcelona upbeat on new Umtiti deal despite mounting Man Utd talk

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde hopes Samuel Umtiti agrees to a new contract and stays at the club “for many years”.

The centre-back has claimed a number of clubs are interested in him, with Manchester United reported to be among the frontrunners to sign the France international.

Umtiti’s relatively low release clause of €60 million has encouraged speculation he could leave, although Barca are thought to be keen to increase it by offering him fresh terms.

Valverde believes the 24-year-old is happy at Camp Nou and is confident he will commit his future to the club.

“I have not followed Umtiti’s statements,” he told a news conference. “What I understand, and I know, is that he is very happy here and we are very happy with him.

[embedded content]

“We hope the negotiations will come to fruition and that he will be able to continue for many years here.”

Captain Andres Iniesta has also been linked with a move away at the end of the season, with clubs in the Chinese Super League said to be ready to offer him a massive contract.

Valverde, though, insists the midfielder’s future is not in his hands.

“I have not thought of any strategy for Iniesta to stay because I do not have to have any strategy,” he said. “Andres knows what he wants and it’s a personal decision.”

Barca take on Roma in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday, looking to take a favourable result to Italy for the second leg.

Article continues below

Goalkeeper Alisson has been tipped to have a big impact on the tie, the Brazilian having been linked with a number of top European sides due to his strong form this season.

But Valverde does not think he will be a target for Barca.

“Allison seems like a great goalkeeper, I do not know at what level, if he’s better than one or the other,” he added. “We are very happy with what we have here.”

Let’