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Lionel Messi wants Barcelona to keep Manchester United's target Samuel Umtiti

Lionel Messi wants Barcelona to keep Manchester United's target Samuel Umtiti

- Jose Mourinho wants to sign Samuel Umtiti for his Manchester United side in the summer

- The 24-year-old joined Barca in 2016 and has a running contract with the club until 2021

- He is currently earning £2.66m a year and he is hoping the Catalan club can double the money before signing a contract extension

Argentine’s Lionel Messi has urged Barcelona chiefs to ensure they do all they can to stop Samuel Umtiti from quitting the Camp Nou outfit this summer.

The 24-year-old defender joined the Blaugrana in 2016 in a deal around £22.50 million from French Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyon.

But barely two seasons into his contract at the club, the central defender is said to be seriously wanted by Manchester United, who are yet to find a balance in their defense line.

It was reported that Umtiti is discussing with Barca bosses over a new contract but they are unwilling to meet his £5.3million (€6m) demands.

READ ALSO: Barcelona and Manchester United in race to sign Melo

And the English Premier League campaigners are willing to take advantage of Barcelona’s reluctance to give in to the player’s demands as they are planning to trigger his release clause to joins the Old Trafford side.

Earlier this year, the 30-year-old said that he could not bear to see the player leave having blended well with other team players.

Messi added that the club’s chiefs cannot rely on buyout clause to keep the defender at the club, saying they must try to make him happy to stay.

“Umtiti is a great player and we expect him to stay at Barca for many more years and for him to enjoy his football with us,” he said.

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He added: “To an extent, the buyout clause is made high so that you can't buy the player. “But, as time goes by, that fee doesn't seem so high at all.

"But the player still has to want to leave. “We're very happy with Umtiti and I'm sure he's going to stay here for a very long time.”

Umtiti joined Barcelona from Lyon in 2016 and has established himself as a regular in the starting XI this term. He currently earns £2.66m (€3m) a year at the Nou Camp.

He has played 60 matches for the Catalans since his arrival at the cup with a goal to his credit.

While at Lyon, he scored three goals in 131 games in all competitions over a period of six years.

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