According to the Daily Express, Chelsea wanted to hold secret negotiations with FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou during their Champions League Round of 16 second leg clash. It is understood that centre-back Samuel Umtiti is the subject of those discussions as the Blues hierarchy is looking to bring the Frenchman to Stamford Bridge in the summer.
Umtiti has settled extremely well at Barcelona and seems to be loving life in La Liga playing for the Catalan Giants. They have a significant lead in the standings and primed to win the league and possibly mount a challenge for the UEFA Champions League as well.
However, the defender has a 50 million release clause in his contract, and he could be tempted to move to Chelsea if they can offer him a significant hike on his wages. The Blues have plenty of star names to attract the Frenchman and he could fit in seamlessly alongside Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta in their back three.
Also with a coach such as Antonio Conte at the helm, who gives importance to defensive organisation, Umtiti could improve leaps and bounds under his tutelage and take his game to the next level in order to become a world class talent.
Despite all of the aforementioned things, it will be extremely difficult to lure him away from the clutches of Ernesto Valverde and Barcelona. He hasn’t expressed any concerns as of now about life at the club and hasn’t complained about anything that would suggest he’s interested in moving away from the club. Also, given his age and the fact that he is only going to improve, he can be a first team-regular for the next five to seven seasons.
Valverde has gone on record to state that the French defender is happy at the club and hasn’t informed him about his desires to leave Spain. He said: “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.”