Barcelona is reportedly willing to rip up defender Samuel Umtiti’s contract at the club if the World Cup winner does not agree to a move away from the Catalan giants in the summer transfer window.
There are “offers on the table” for the 27-year-old who has been deemed surplus to requirements, and Barcelona “will not hesitate to terminate the French central defender’s contract” if he does not accept one, according to Santi Gimenez at Diario AS.
Barca’s financial situation means the club prefers to “cut their losses and fire the players” who are not willing to be moved on. The reports adds that a “clear sign” of what could happen to Umtiti can be seen this week in the case of Brazilian midfielder Matheus Fernandes.
The youngster only arrived at Barcelona in summer 2020 but had his contract terminated after managing just 17 minutes of first-team action. The Catalans confirmed the news in a brief statement that read, “FC Barcelona has informed the Brazilian that the club no longer requires his services.”
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Where Next For Umtiti?
Finding a buyer for Umtiti may not be easy given he is one of Barcelona’s highest earners and has a chequered injury record. The center-back emerged as one of Europe’s best center-backs after first moving to Barcelona from Lyon but injuries have taken their toll.
Persistent knee problems mean Umtiti has struggled to play regularly and find his best form ever since helping France win the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Umtiti managed just six La Liga starts in 2020-21 and has clearly fallen out of favor at the Camp Nou.
Youngsters Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza appear to have moved ahead of Umtiti in the pecking order, while Eric Garcia will also be hoping for regular game time next season after arriving on a free transfer from Manchester City.
Ligue 1 sides Lyon and Marseille are both interested in Umtiti and could be a potential destination for the defender, according Sport. However, Marseille are said to be “doubtful” over Umtiti’s “physical state.”
Umtiti does appear to be working hard to prove his fitness. The center-back has shared a series of videos on Instagram showing him working hard in the gym during the off-season.
Barcelona Busy Trimming Squad
Junior Firpo and Miralem Pjanic could be the next players to wave goodbye to the Camp Nou. Back-up left back Firpo is expected to move to Premier League side Leeds United, while Pjanic could move on loan to Italy or Tottenham Hotspur, according to Diario Sport.
Umtiti’s days with the Catalan giants also appear numbered finally with Barca seemingly willing to take drastic action if the defender is unable to seal a move to another club either on loan or as part of a permanent transfer.