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Manchester rivals United and City warned off £55m Umtiti move by Barcelona star Pique

09:24 GMT 11/01/2018
Samuel Umtiti, Barcelona 17/18
The Red Devils are among those being linked with the France international defender, but he is expected to remain at Camp Nou for "many more years"

Gerard Pique has warned Manchester rivals United and City that Barcelona expect Samuel Umtiti to remain at the club for “many more years”.

The two Premier League heavyweights are reported to have identified the France international defender as top target during the January transfer window.

Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola are aware that Umtiti has a £55 million release clause in his contract at Camp Nou and are considering approaches which could trigger an exit.

Pique, though, remains confident that Barca can fend off any interest and that Umtiti will remain his centre-back partner in Catalunya for the foreseeable future.

The former United defender told reporters on rumours linking a 24-year-old talent with a switch to England: “I’m not worried about what clubs might or might not do.

“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.

“To an extent, the buyout clause is made high so that you can’t buy the player. 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 is currently out of action with a hamstring injury picked up against Celta Vigo on December 2.

He was expected to be sidelined for around eight weeks and has only recently returned to training with the Barcelona squad.

No indication has been offered that he is open to a move away from the La Liga giants, with his current contract set to take him through to the summer of 2021.