Champions League 2017-12-29 8:58 AM

Barcelona have found themselves very worried after Virgil van Dijk’s huge-money move to Liverpool.


The transfer has hit football hard right at the start of the transfer window, setting a new world record fee for a defender of £75 million and introducing Liverpool into the group of teams setting such fees.

The previous record of just over £52 million was set in the summer when Man City paid Monaco for left-back Benjamin Mendy.

That fee in line with what they had paid for Kyle Walker the same summer and what Chelsea received from Paris Saint-Germain for David Luiz in 2014.

Liverpool have changed things, however, adding an extra 50% onto the record and doing it without an actual bidding war – Man City were left with no time to react as Jurgen Klopp’s team completed the negotiations rapidly.

Van Dijk to Liverpool was one of the stories of the summer, of course, with the Reds’ inability to close the deal being the biggest criticism aimed at them once it closed. For all the complaints though, there was nothing but praise for the way Liverpool held on to Philippe Coutinho in the face of Barcelona’s overtures.

That prospective transfer is still very much on the cards – from a Catalonian angle, anyway – and Liverpool’s sudden doubling of their own transfer record has led some to believe that a Coutinho-sized influx of cash may be on its way soon.

You’d think that would leave Ernesto Valverde’s side excited at the prospect of finally getting their man, however, the size of Van Dijk’s transfer has actually left a lot of people at Camp Nou very worried about one of their own players.

Spanish outlet Sport are reporting that in a world where 85 million euros is an acceptable fee for a defender, Barcelona feel Samuel Umtiti’s buyout clause of 60 million euros is very cheap.

The 24-year-old French defender has become increasingly important to La Liga’s leaders, establishing himself as a great fit in a side that has never looked completely settled at centre back ever since Carles Puyol retired.

Javier Mascherano is expected to leave the club for China imminently, further underlining the importance of Umtiti for Barcelona.

60 million euros is certainly a price that a whole host of teams would be happy to pay for a player boasting a CV like Umtiti’s and Sport again reports that Barca will move quickly to offer the player new terms and a far larger buyout-clause.

And if any team is going to get paranoid over a buyout clause, it will be Barcelona. Neymar’s colossal clause of 200 million euros was thought to be impossible to pay when it was agreed on, only for the Catalan’s to discover they were very, very wrong.

Maybe it’s best they make Umitit’s 300 million euros – just to be sure.







Leave a Reply