Barcelona have reportedly offered Samuel Umtiti to La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid as they desperately look to offload the French centre-half.
According to a report from Spanish publication El Gol Digital, Barcelona are ramping up their efforts to get injury-prone defender Samuel Umtiti off their books this summer and have offered his services to reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.
Umtiti arrived at Barcelona in the summer of 2016 from Olympique Lyon and enjoyed a successful debut campaign. However, it has since downhill for the Frenchman who has had to constantly battle troublesome knee injuries that have led to his prominence within the team, and as a result, his stock plummeting quite drastically.
Pretty much an afterthought under new manager Ronald Koeman last season, Umtiti featured just 16 times across all competitions with youngsters Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza preferred over him. Furthermore, Barcelona have also brought in Eric Garcia already this summer and remain on the lookout for another defender.
Umtiti, thus, has been deemed surplus to requirements by the Barcelona management, who are working hard to offload him this summer as they look to trim down their wage bill to stay within La Liga’s Fair Play rules. A move to Manchester City has been touted of late, but now it is being claimed that the 27-year-old has been offered to La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid by Barcelona.
The Rojiblancos, who beat the Catalans and Real Madrid to the title last season, are looking to bolster their defensive ranks this summer, with Mario Hermoso having been linked with a switch to Barcelona while Stefan Savic picked up an injury in pre-season.
And, they have now been offered an opportunity to add Umtiti to their ranks and add more depth to their centre-back department. However, the report adds that Atletico Madrid have doubts over a move, owing to the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner’s injury record.
Barcelona, though, are assuring their rivals that the Frenchman is at his 100%, with the player having featured quite prominently during the pre-season for the Blaugrana. The reigning Spanish champions, however, are not completely convinced and will go through with the operation only if Barca agree on a transfer fee lower than the €8 million mark.
Whether Barcelona find those terms acceptable or decide to find a different club for Umtiti, who still has two years on his contract, remains to be seen. What seems certain is that the 27-year-old is unlikely to stay at Camp Nou beyond the current transfer window.