Samuel Umtiti’s future at Barcelona has increasingly been in question in the Spanish media over the past week or so, with Manchester United the club most heavily linked.

There’s no way Don Balon were going to sit idly by without dreaming up their own claims and turning the situation on its head, and that’s what they’ve done on Wednesday.

It’s claimed Chelsea are having ‘secret negotiations’ to get ahead of their Premier League rivals and sign Umtiti themselves. Despite a fierce rivalry on the pitch, Don Balon believe there’s good relations between the two clubs off it, and Chelsea want to negotiate rather than pay Umtiti’s €60m release clause.

The insinuation is Chelsea would be happier to pay a slightly higher fee if it was to see them push ahead of the competition and complete a more amicable transfer.

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Umtiti has been asking for a salary way above what Barcelona want to pay, according to the claims. That fits in with claims last week the defender wants his current club to match the €9m a season (after tax, naturally) Manchester United are said to have offered.

This is Don Balon, so not the best source, but it does seem clear Umtiti is pushing for a new contract at higher figures than Barcelona want to pay.

Would Chelsea pay €60m+ for a central defender and give him €9m after tax wages? If they’re willing they may get the chance to do so.