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Umtiti says staying at Barcelona was his priority as he signs long-term contract

The France international’s new deal ties him to the Nou Camp until 2023.

Umtiti says staying at Barcelona was his priority as he signs long-term contract

Samuel Umtiti insists he never had thoughts of playing anywhere else after agreeing a contract extension with Barcelona, who have set his release clause at 500 million euros (£445m).

The Cameroon-born France international’s new deal ties him to the LaLiga champions until 2023, and he put pen to paper in an official ceremony at the Nou Camp on Monday morning.

The 24-year-old defender had been linked with a move to Manchester United.

However, after helping Barca win LaLiga, two Copa del Reys and the Spanish Supercopa during his two seasons in Catalonia, Umtiti said that heading somewhere else never crossed his mind.

“I’m very happy and proud to be able to renew with Barcelona. My dream was to be with the best. Since the first day, I’ve felt at home at the club and I want to stay here,” Umtiti told a press conference.

“My priority was always to renew with Barca. I never saw myself in another team.”

“This club has been in my heart since I was a kid, and it is a dream to play here with players like (Lionel) Messi.

“I’m staying at Barcelona because this is the best team in the world. I’m not here because of money. That’s important but I’m here to win titles, which is the most important thing.

“Next season I hope we’re going to fight for all the titles. That’s why I’ve signed.”

Umtiti arrived at the Nou Camp in 2016 from Lyon and is part of Didier Deschamps’ 23-man France squad for the upcoming World Cup – along with Antoine Griezmann.

The Atletico Madrid striker has been heavily linked with a move to Barca this summer and Umtiti was asked if he had spoken to his compatriot about a potential switch.

Umtiti said: “I speak a lot with Antoine Griezmann but not about this matter. (We speak about), Playstation, food, but not about this.

Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann
Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann has been linked with a move to Barcelona (Nick Potts/PA)

“He’s a fantastic player who would help any team in the world. If he comes here it would be fantastic.”

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is confident the defender will be at the club for the long term after agreeing the new five-year deal.

“The buy out clause (of Umtiti) is now 500 million euros,” Bartomeu confirmed at the press conference.

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