Valverde optimistic on new Umtiti contract

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde hopes Samuel Umtiti agrees to a new contract and stays at the club "for many years".

The centre-back has claimed a number of clubs are interested in him, with Manchester United reportedly among the frontrunners to sign the France international.

Umtiti's relatively low release clause of EUR60million has encouraged speculation he could leave, although Barca are thought to be keen to increase it by offering him fresh terms.

Valverde believes the 24-year-old is happy at Camp Nou and is confident he will commit his future to the club.

"I have not followed Umtiti's statements," he told a news conference. "What I understand, and I know, is that he is very happy here and we are very happy with him.

"We hope the negotiations will come to fruition and that he will be able to continue for many years here."

Captain Andres Iniesta has also been linked with a move away at the end of the season, with clubs in the Chinese Super League said to be ready to offer him a massive contract.

Valverde, though, insists the midfielder's future is not in his hands.

"I have not thought of any strategy for Iniesta to stay because I do not have to have any strategy," he said. "Andres knows what he wants and it's a personal decision."

Barca take on Roma in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday, looking to take a favourable result to Italy for the second leg.

Goalkeeper Alisson has been tipped to have a big impact on the tie, the Brazilian having been linked with a number of top European sides due to his strong form this season.

But Valverde does not think he will be a target for Barca.

"Allison seems like a great goalkeeper, I do not know at what level, if he's better than one or the other," he added. "We are very happy with what we have here."

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