Barcelona are reportedly planning to hand Samuel Umtiti a new deal and increase his release clause in order to fend off any interest from the Premier League.
The France international moved to Camp Nou from Lyon in 2016 and has been a regular inclusion in their back four. He has partnered with Gerard Pique in the heart of the Catalan club's back four.
Umtiti's contract with his current employers will run down in 2021. He has a release clause of €60m (£53m, $69.6m) in his present deal. Earlier reports suggested Manchester United are interested in signing the centre-back in January.
Jose Mourinho had identified the 23-year-old as a player to partner Eric Bailly at Old Trafford. According to the Spanish publication Sport, Barcelona are aware of the interest from the English club.
They fear the Frenchman's current release clause will be easy for the Premier League clubs to trigger in January. The La Liga outfit are not willing to lose their defender, who has age on his side to become a top quality defender in the future.
Barcelona are planning to extend Umtiti's current deal by one or two years. The number of years may not be significant, but he will see a rise in his wages and also his buyout clause. He will see his release clause set at €180m (£160.3m, $209.5m).
Earlier in August, Barcelona representatives held talks with Umtiti's brother and agent Yannick. They expressed their desire to hand the player a new deal, which would be "in line with his performances."
Yannick stressed that his client is happy at Barcelona and is not looking for a move away from the club. They even rejected approaches from the Premier League club for Samuel earlier in the summer.
Samuel's brother has made it clear to Barcelona that his desire is to continue at Camp Nou. The talks over a new deal is likely to progress in 2018 and the defender has been advised to focus on his game on the pitch.
Umtiti's decision to continue at Barcelona and the club's desire to hand him a new deal to increase his buyout clause will make it more difficult for United to land the central defender, either in January or next summer.