Chelsea handed massive blow in their pursuit for €60m-rated Frenchman

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Barcelona are reportedly redoubling their efforts to reward France international defender Samuel Umtiti in Spain amid reports linking him with a switch to Chelsea and Manchester United.

Premier League heavyweights are desperate to land the French centre-back who has been in stunning form since his move to Barcelona from Lyon.

The club recently opened talks with the agent of player renewing his contract, according to the Mundo Deportivo reports.

France international defender has been contracted with the Catalan outfit until 2021. However, his current deal has €60m (£52m) release clause and both Chelsea and Man Utd could trigger it.

Reports linking the French defender with the Nou Camp exit emerged following rumours that the Catalan club’s hierarchy was displeased with his performance last week’s 3-0 defeat at Roma, which knocked them from the Champions League 1/4 finals.

Umtiti joined Barca from French outfit Lyon back in 2016 and since then has established himself as a world-class defender that has led rumours linking him with a switch to Chelsea and Manchester United.

Meanwhile, Chelsea and Man United are determined to sign another Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic after the end of the current campaign in order to strengthen their midfield options.