Rennes manager Bruno Genesio has confirmed that the Ligue 1 club are interested in making a move for Barcelona outcast Samuel Umtiti this summer.
As Samuel Umtiti continues to look for a new club to secure a transfer away from Barcelona, Ligue 1 outfit Rennes have presented themselves as a potential destination for the Frenchman.
The 28-year-old defender has fallen out of favour at Barcelona and has been permitted to not show up for pre-season training and find himself a new club this summer. There had been murmurs about a return to his boyhood club Lyon, but things have gone quiet on that front. Recent reports indicated that Serie A club Fiorentina might hold an interest in him as well.
Another club who have shown a willingness to sign Umtiti are Rennes. The Ligue 1 outfit finished in fourth place last season and are set to play in the UEFA Europa League. And they are in the market for experienced additions to their roster to help them navigate European football while sustaining a top-three challenge in the French top-flight.
Reports in France last week suggested that Rennes have opened talks with Barcelona over a possible transfer for Umtiti. Now, the Brittany-based outfit’s manager, Bruno Genesio, has confirmed that the club are indeed keen on adding the French international to their roster.
🎙 Bruno Genesio (Rennes coach): "Umtiti? He's a player I know perfectly well from my time at Olympique Lyonnais. You all know his story, his qualities, the setbacks he had last year, but he's still a high-level player, and we are interested in high-level players." [via sport] pic.twitter.com/admeBj5ADj
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) July 3, 2022
Genesio worked with Umtiti briefly at Lyon before the 28-year-old’s move to Barcelona in 2016. And the current Rennes boss has claimed that the French international remains a high-level player despite his troubles at Camp Nou in recent years.
“He’s a player I know perfectly well. I’ve had him in the training period and then in the Lyon first team and that creates a bond. You all know his history, his qualities, the setbacks he had last year, but he’s still a player of a high level, and we are interested in players of a high level,” Genesio said, as quoted by SPORT.
Umtiti’s career at Barcelona has come to a screeching halt over the past couple of seasons. The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner played just one game across all competitions during the 2021/22 campaign and is primed to move on this summer. Whether a move to Rennes materialises or he ends up joining a different club remains to be seen.