According to reports, Barcelona have agreed a deal with Lyon defender Samuel Umtiti.
Although Barcelona’s brilliant attacking trio of Messi, Neymar and Suarez had managed to take away the public attention from the defensive woes of the team, it is evident that the Catalans need defensive reinforcements for the upcoming season, in the wake of the departures of Dani Alves and Javier Mascherano.
According to reports, Lyon’s highly rated defender Samuel Umtiti has agreed to sign on a 5-year-deal with Barcelona. The 22-year-old center back is currently with France’s squad and according to Mundo Deportivo(via Football Espana), he will sign a contract which will see him stay at the Nou Camp until 2021, at the culmination of their European Championship campaign.
The report further states that representatives of the Catalans were in negotiation with the Lyon hierarchy on Tuesday regarding matters of fee and payment.
Defensive reinforcements required
Post the end of the season, the Catalans have been on the look out for a top class talent to strengthen their squad. In their bid to add some more quality and much needed depth to their defensive ranks, they have been linked with the likes of Southampton’s Cedric Soares, Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin, Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta, Liverpool youngster Cameron Brannagan and even Manchester City target John Stones.
Barcelona have never truly been able to replace the legendary Carles Puyol and that will likely be the case with the departing Dani Alves. Thomas Vermaelen and Alex Vidal are expected to move on in the summer and with Jeremy Mathieu, Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano not getting any younger, Barcelona manager Luis Enrique will likely prioritise improving his back four before he strengthens further up the pitch.