Clement Lenglet may be a regular fixture in the Barcelona defence, but he’s made the surprise admission that he’s not completely certain about his future at the Camp Nou.
The France international told RMC Sport that he hopes to still be a Barcelona player next season but much will depend on what happens during the summer transfer window.
He said: “We really don’t know what the future holds for us as footballers, but I hope to be at Barcelona next season, yes. It will certainly depend on the transfer window, this is a unique period for clubs, we are not sheltered from anything, but I hope to stay.”
Lenglet moved to Barcelona from Sevilla in 2018 and helped Barca win the league title in his first season with the Catalan giants. He managed to force his way into the starting XI ahead of compatriot Samuel Umtiti but has found himself back on the bench at times since Quique Setien replaced Ernesto Valverde as manager in January.
Lenglet Battling With Umtiti to Be Pique’s Partner
Umtiti has struggled with knee injuries in recent seasons which has allowed Lenglet to move above him in the pecking order for Barcelona and France. Lenglet made his debut for the national team in a 4-0 win over Andorra in June 2019 and has gone on to win eight caps for the reigning world champions.
Lenglet has made 19 La Liga starts for Barcelona in 2019-20 but has missed out on some big games. Setien picked Umtiti for Barcelona’s trip to Real Madrid in El Clasico in February, a decision Lenglet admitted caused him plenty of disappointment.
“A new coach arrived, Samuel (Umtiti) had been good when he played. The cards has been redistributed. Then again, I played a fair amount, we are neck and neck in terms of playing time. However I did not play the Clasico, which was a small source of disappointment for me, but it is part of a footballer’s life. Now I am preparing myself well, hoping to play very regularly.”
Barcelona went on to lose the game 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu, while Lenglet was restored to the starting XI for the club’s next fixture against Real Sociedad. Setien’s men bounced back with a 1-0 win in what was their final match before La Liga was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Umtiti Facing Uncertain Barcelona Future
While football has taken a backseat over the last two months the rumor mill has been busy. Reports have suggested Umtiti is one of several players who could be moved on by the club in the coming months.
Barcelona are keen to sell but are aware his injury problems are likely to put off potential buyers, according to Javier Miguel at AS. The club now value the French defender at $32 million and would be willing to use him in a deal to sign Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez, according to Sport’s Toni Juanmarti.
Umtiti is currently sidelined again after picking up another injury. The Frenchman suffered a calf problem just two days after the team were cleared to return to training as Spain began to ease lockdown restrictions.