Earlier on Thursday, Sport Witness published an article on Samuel Umtiti’s difficult period at Barcelona, and how signs of a potential summer transfer are starting to appear.
The defender’s transfer games of a year ago, which largely revolved around Manchester United, have left a crack in the relationship between player and club. Umtiti eventually renewed, but has spent much of the time since injured or out of form, his standing in the Spanish media isn’t great.
With perfect timing, Catalan newspaper Sport have now published their own take, which would back the theory up.
On Thursday evening they’ve sent out an article titled: ‘The future of Umtiti is complicated: No scenario is ruled out’
Umtiti is no longer a guaranteed starter. He needs games to get his form back but isn’t going to get them if he’s not in form at such a crucial stage of the season.
Barcelona didn’t like his ‘flirtation with Manchester United’ and the way he approached a renewal, trying to take advantage of his then €60m clause.
There’s also been disagreement over treatment for his knee injury. Barcelona were minded to go down the surgical route, whereas their player wanted to avoid that. Umtiti has returned but that doesn’t rule out surgery still being required at some point.
Despite all of that, Barca won’t put him on the market, he’d have to bring offers himself, via his representatives of course. It’s suspected that offers could arrive, and Sport put the valuation at €70m+.
Matthijs de Ligt’s arrival is now taken as almost certain, and that means Umtiti will have to accept being part of a rotation. No club, not Manchester United or anyone else, have even asked for the player.
Links to Old Trafford have reappeared recently, as United go through their annual period of being linked with any conceivable target.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side need a new central defender, that’s clear, so with doubt around Umtiti’s situation continuing, the links are likely to reappear regularly.
But do Manchester United really want to spend €70m+ on an out of form player, struggling with fitness, who may need an operation?
It would be a gamble for them or anyone else, but then the chance of getting 25 year old Umtiti back in top form could be tempting.
Samuel Umtiti | Signs of a Barcelona exit are very real – lost love replaced by frustration.
— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) April 4, 2019