Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti could finally be on his way out of Camp Nou, with AS Roma keen on signing him on loan for the rest of the season.
According to a report from El Nacional, Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has emerged as a loan target for Italian giants AS Roma in the ongoing transfer window.
Umtiti has been with Barcelona since 2016 when he arrived from Lyon. The Frenchman enjoyed a fine debut season in Catalonia but has since struggled with perennial injury problems that have led to him dropping down the pecking order year after year.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner is behind Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo, Eric Garcia, Oscar Mingueza and Clement Lenglet in the order of preference at Camp Nou currently. Barcelona have been attempting to offload the 28-year-old since last summer but have been unable to get him off their books.
However, that could be set to change this month as, according to El Nacional, the French defender is ready to leave the Catalan giants, albeit only on a loan move, to a team of his preference. Umtiti has already rejected an approach from Turkish giants Fenerbahce, but a new option could present itself for the Frenchman.
Indeed, Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma could now provide him with an escape route in the ongoing transfer window. The Giallorossi are in the market for defensive reinforcements seeing as Jose Mourinho has only four centre-backs at his disposal.
Given that he has been using a back-three, more depth is necessary, especially with some of the current players not performing well enough. Such has situation has prompted Mourinho to line up a loan move for Barcelona defender Umtiti for the rest of the season.
The report claims that Barcelona president Joan Laporta has already greenlighted the transfer, with the Serie A giants stipulated to cover 50 per cent of his wages. Umtiti, for his part, would be getting to play under a proven manager like Mourinho while he would also get to compete in Europe, with Roma still alive in the UEFA Europa Conference League.
In the event of Umtiti’s exit, Barcelona plan to promote B team defender Mika Marmol, who has been linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund, to the senior squad. It now remains to be seen if Umtiti does end up making his way out of Camp Nou before the end of the month.