FC Barcelona have reportedly lowered their hopes of selling Samuel Umtiti for the asking price of €50 million, with Chelsea and Manchester United interested.
According to Sport, Barcelona could find difficulties in getting rid of Samuel Umtiti for their desired price. The Frenchman was hugely linked with a move away from Camp Nou in the January transfer window, with a host of Premier League showing keen interest.
However, the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge financial toll on football clubs across Europe. As a result, Barcelona are aware of the fact that they could find it tough to seek their desired €50 million for Umtiti.
The player is believed to be keen on a move away from Camp Nou, however, with Manchester United and Chelsea still interested in his services. Although Umtiti is considered as a first-team option by Quique Setien, he has lost his place in the squad to his compatriot Clement Lenglet.
The ex-Sevilla defender has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence and is backed by Barcelona to eventually replace defensive figurehead Gerard Pique in the long-term. Hence, Umtiti is desperate to leave the club and find more game-time elsewhere.
From Barca’s perspective, however, failing to muster at least €50 million for the Frenchman could potentially affect their summer transfer activity.
The Catalans were reportedly poised to make a major attacking overhaul in the summer, especially after losing the likes of Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian, much like Umtiti, has also been linked with a permanent move away from Catalonia.
Nevertheless, it seems Lautaro Martinez has been identified as the desired target for the Spanish giants. But, the Inter Milan prospect is likely to cost a fortune. Same can be said for another long-term target Neymar. And that’s where the potential departures of Coutinho and Umtiti could come in handy.
Their transfer away from Barcelona could help the club fund moves for top targets like Martinez and Neymar. Not to mention, the deal could benefit Umtiti as well.
As iterated earlier, the French World Cup winner has been linked with a move to Manchester United and Chelsea. Both the clubs will be able to provide the defender with regular first-team football as well as an opportunity to showcase his talents in arguably the most competitive league in the world.
Manchester United are keen to find a reliable defensive partner for Harry Maguire while Chelsea are also desperate for a top-class defender following the injury problems of Antonio Rudiger. But with Coronavirus likely to take a toll on the transfer market, it will be interesting to see how this saga takes shape in the coming months.