Liverpool are reported to be considering a cut-price January deal for Samuel Umtiti after Barcelona cleared the defender to leave.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have been rocked by a spate of injuries suffered by their defensive stars.
Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold are all currently sidelined. Only the latter of that trio is expected to play a meaningful part in the campaign going forward.
The news has sparked debate as to whether Liverpool will remedy their woes with a January splash.
Jamie Carragher identified such a move as being crucial to the Reds’ title hopes. However, Klopp does have the option of relying on the inexperienced pair of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams still remains.
A number of big-name defenders have been linked, with David Alaba, Dayot Upamecano and Ozan Kabak mentioned as targets.
There’s also been talk that Liverpool are considering Pau Torres, Jules Kounde and Mykola Matvienko.
Further reports have mentioned Tottenham’s Davinson Sanchez as a target.
However, the likelihood is that Klopp and Liverpool won’t shell out big money in the January market.
To that end, our exclusive revealed that Daryl Janmaat has been offered to the Reds as short-term defensive cover.
However, reports from Spain reckon Liverpool are also considering Samuel Umtiti as a possible immediate solution.
As per Sport, Barcelona are willing to sell four players in January to free up funds. The Spanish paper claims Junior Firpo, Matheus Fernandes, Martin Braithwaite and Umtiti will be the men to depart.
World Cup winner Umtiti has fallen massively down the pecking order at Barca and is likely to be available for a vastly-reduced fee.
While contracted to 2023, it’s reported he could leave for as little as €15m-€20m this January. Barca may even be willing to let him leave on loan just to free him off their wage bill.
As such, Don Balon claims Liverpool are considering a January move for the former Lyon man.
Umtiti hints at Barcelona stay
Despite his lack of action, the French defender maintains he wants to prove himself at Barcelona again – even if he could have returned to former club Lyon this summer.
“I don’t see myself at any club other than Barca,” he told Canal Plus. “I’ve been pretty clear about that with everyone.
“Lyon is my club, my city. They were the team that gave me the chance to play in Europe, at Barca and for the national team. There were conversations with Lyon this summer, but there was nothing in concrete.
“The last two years have been the worst of my career. I’ve never worked so hard. I need to make up for lost time.”
Whether a January approach from Liverpool would convince him to change his mind, remains to be seen.
But if Liverpool could sign him on loan, with a view to a permanent deal, that could prove the best solution for all parties.