Newcastle United target Samuel Umtiti has given up on his trying to force his way into the Barcelona team and looks set to leave this month, claims a report.
The centre-back, who reportedly snubbed five separate offers to Fenerbahce in last summer, finally looks set to call time on his career at the Camp Nou. The 28-year-old has made just one appearance for Barca this season. Umtiti started in last month’s 2-2 draw with Osasuna – 227 days since he last started a game for the club.
Umtiti gave a 6/10 performance, according to Eurosport, but he did deflect Chimy Avila’s late strike into the net to hand Osasuna a point.
The defender though, who is out of contract in 2023, has not been seen since.
Barca are understandably keen to offload Umtiti, who earns around £220,000 per week. The Catalan side are struggling financially and had to borrow from the bank to fund Ferran Torres’ transfer.
Director of football Mateu Alemany even admitted Barca were scrambling around behind the scenes to fund the player’s personal terms.
“The truth of the situation is that when we signed Ferran Torres, we knew we did not have room in terms of salaries,” Alemany said.
“However, we have been making moves in different areas and we are convinced we can register him.”
Now though Mundo Deportivo, via the Daily Express reports that Umtiti has finally accepted to move on. He wants regular game time in order to try and get into the France squad for the 2022 World Cup in December.
Umtiti is expected to leave the club on loan until the end of the season. Barca will be hoping for suitors to take on the player’s full salary, but if not they may well have to compromise.
Umtiti had €60m buyout
The Sun have claimed Barcelona could let Umtiti leave permanently for £17m. That will likely be written into any prospective deal as an option, or as Barca would prefer, an obligation to buy.
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is looking for a centre-back and has been linked with Sven Botman.
They have conceded 42 goals so far this season, the joint-worst record alongside bottom club Norwich. They have kept one clean sheet and Howe wants a commanding figure at the heart of his rearguard.
The arrival of Kieran Trippier will be rubber-stamped this week. Atletico Madrid have agreed to a £12m transfer fee. But Howe wants a commanding central defender in addition.
Barcelona signed Umtiti from Lyon in July 2016 for £25m. He originally had a €60m buyout in his contract and has gone on to make 133 appearances for the club.