Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti is ‘insisting’ on staying at Camp Nou this summer, despite seemingly having no future at the club amid ongoing financial trouble.
Umtiti is among a number of players that Barça are keen to move on before the end of the transfer window, with the Frenchman’s longstanding fitness struggles meaning he has been limited to just 40 appearances in La Liga across the last three seasons combined.
Barça need to slash their wage bill in order to be able to re-sign Lionel Messi and register new arrivals Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia. A handful of fringe players have already gone to trim the costs, but it is selling players on bigger contracts like Umtiti, Philippe Coutinho and Miralem Pjanic that will make more of an impact to ease the situation.
The latest from Mundo Deportivo is that Barça are ‘accelerating’ the departures of Umtiti and Pjanic. It is said the agent of the latter has been in touch with former club Juventus to discuss a return, with coach Massimiliano Allegri giving his approval to a potential deal.
Juve will have to sell an existing midfielder to make it possible, which could be Aaron Ramsey, while Pjanic will need to accept a salary cut – but that it something he is said to be willing to do.
The issue for Barça lies with Umtiti. The club are believed to have made it clear that he is not part of coach Ronald Koeman’s plans and his agents are even said to be working on a deal to leave. Yet the player himself is described as ‘insisting’ on staying.
Having initially made the move to Camp Nou from Lyon for €25m in 2016, Umtiti is still only 27 and under contract until the end of the 2022/23 season.