According to a report from Anfield Central, Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has been offered to a host of elite European clubs for a modest price of £6million. Manchester City are one of those clubs, as Barcelona look to sell their French centre-back in the summer.
Having arrived at Barcelona from Lyon in the summer of 2016 rated as one of the top young defenders in the game, Samuel Umtiti, 27, initially enjoyed solid success at Camp Nou, having performed admirably well in his first two campaigns. However, things have gone downhill ever since he returned as a World Cup winner with France in the summer of 2018.
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The Frenchman has been hit with a spate of injuries in the last few years at Barcelona, which has seen him manage just 131 appearances across all competitions so far.
It looks like Umtiti’s time at Camp Nou is coming to an end, with the player’s agent offering the centre-back to clubs across Europe, the report adds.
Manchester City have enjoyed the best defensive record in the Premier League this season, conceding just 24 goals in 34 games.
Summer signing Ruben Dias has transformed the Cityzens’ backline, with the Portuguese international putting in consistent displays and forming a strong partnership with John Stones.
John Stones’ resurgence in form this campaign has seen Aymeric Laporte lose his place in Pep Guardiola’s starting XI. Yet, Laporte has managed 26 appearances in all formats until now.
Summer acquisition from Bournemouth, Nathan Ake has had a trouble debut season at the Etihad Stadium. Recurrent injury problems hasn’t allowed Ake to get a run of games in Manchester City colours. Then there is the young Eric Garcia, who hasn’t played much this season and is out of contract in June. He is likely to join Barcelona on a free transfer this summer.
Garcia’s potential departure at the end of the season will leave Pep Guardiola with just four recognised central defenders in Stones, Dias, Laporte and Ake. However, the central defensive options aren’t enough for a team that will certainly challenge on all fronts next season.
That should make signing a centre-back one of the priorities for Guardiola in the upcoming transfer window. Nevertheless, the Spanish tactician should avoid taking a punt on Umtiti due to his wretched injury record at Barcelona.
Umtiti may be an experienced defender with a solid international pedigree, but his lack of fitness and form in recent times remains a concern. The former Lyon star is not the player he once was, which should be enough for Guardiola to look at other options to strengthen his depth at the back for next term.