Man City, Man United warned off Umtiti move by Pique

Matt Stead

Manchester City and Manchester United have both been warned off a move for Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti by Gerard Pique.

City and United are interested in Barca centre-half Umtiti, who is currently sidelined through injury.

The France international joined the club in summer 2016 and has established himself as a first-team regular.

But a relatively low release clause of £53m has been brought to the attention of both Manchester clubs.

Manager Ernesto Valverde dismissed the speculation earlier this month, and Pique continues a rare case of Barca ‘tapping down’ instead of ‘tapping up’.

“I’m not worried about what clubs might or might not do,” he said.

“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.”