Samuel Umtiti insists he has no plans to leave Barcelona and has vowed to “make up for lost time” after years of injury troubles.
Umtiti has suffered a decline in form due to injuries over the past couple of seasons. He has long since lost his place in the Barcelona starting lineup.
There were rumours over the summer that the La Liga giants could offload him on loan. It prompted links with the likes of Arsenal, West Ham, Leicester and Manchester United, but nothing concrete emerged.
With his options narrowing, it was then claimed that Barcelona could cancel Umtiti’s contract and allow him to find a new club as a free agent. However, that too proved not to be the outcome.
Therefore, Umtiti remains in the squad at Camp Nou, where he is under contract until 2023. However, he is still yet to play this season due to more injury problems.
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.”
Disharmony among the Barcelona ranks
While Umtiti is retaining an optimistic outlook, elsewhere at Barcelona it seems to be chaotic.
With under pressure president Josep Maria Bartomeu trying to cut costs, he has negotiated new contracts for four first team players.
However, not everyone at the club is happy about that – including some members of the playing squad.