Manchester City are reportedly weighing up a swoop for Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti as Pep Guardiola wants to add another centre-back to his squad.
According to a report from Spanish publication MARCA, out of favour Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has registered on the radars of Premier League champions Manchester City in the ongoing transfer window.
Umtiti has been with Barcelona since 2016, having arrived from Ligue 1 club, Olympique Lyon. However, after an impressive debut season in Catalonia, the 27-year-old has been on a steep decline due to his constant injury and fitness problems. Indeed, the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner has hardly been a regular over the past couple of seasons for Barcelona, who are keen on offloading him this summer.
Indeed, the Catalans are looking to trim their wage bill significantly amidst the financial turmoil at the club and see Umtiti as one of the expendable players, along with midfield misfit Miralem Pjanic, while Antoine Griezmann also continues to be linked with an exit. And, it seems like Barcelona could get a helping hand in their bid to offload the injury-prone defender from former manager Pep Guardiola.
The aforementioned report claims that the Manchester City manager is looking to add another centre-back to his roster this summer and is on the lookout for a low-cost option, making Umtiti a viable option for the Premier League champions.
Manchester City, as things stand, have a plethora of options in the centre-back department. The club splashed the cash heavily on Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake last summer, although the latter featured sparingly in the 2020/21 season. In addition, John Stones has rejuvenated his career spectacularly, while Aymeric Laporte is also available at Guardiola’s disposal.
The Spanish international, though, has been linked with an exit this summer after having seen his game-time reduce last season due to the rise of Dias and Stones, while the Cityzens also lost Eric Garcia to Barcelona on a free transfer earlier this summer. Should such a scenario materialise, Manchester City will need a replacement for the former Athletic Bilbao defender, which is where Umtiti would enter the picture.
Umtiti has been involved in both of Barcelona’s pre-season friendlies this month and has looked in good physical shape. Whether that prompts Manchester City to take a gamble on him before the summer transfer window slams shut remains to be seen.