French giants Lyon are “working on a plan” to sign Barcelona’s World Cup-winning defender Samuel Umtiti, according to Spanish outlet Sport (via Barca Blaugranes).
Barcelona signed Samuel Umtiti from Lyon back in 2016 for €25 million. The Catalan giants offered Umtiti a new deal in 2018 after France’s successful World Cup campaign in Russia. Despite his current Barcelona contract running until 2023, Blaugrana are prepared to offload their French defender due to constant injuries and poor form.
According to the aforementioned source, Lyon are highly interested in bringing Samuel Umtiti back from Barcelona. The Ligue 1 side are confident the centre-back can rediscover the form that made him a fixture in the French national team.
However, Umtiti’s astronomical wages are an issue for Lyon. The Ligue 1 side are considering a loan offer that will only cover 50% of the 27-year-old defender’s wages. Given their financial struggles, it is highly unlikely that Barcelona would accept such an offer.
Samuel Umtiti has always spoken highly of Lyon. In an interview with French outlet Canal in October 2020, Umiti revealed that there had been discussions with his former side but the move never materialized. Umititi said:
“Lyon is my team. It is my city. It is the team that has given me the opportunity to play in Europe, in Barcelona and with the French national team. There were discussions with them during the market, but there was never anything concrete with the club.”
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Barcelona desperately need to offload some of their fringe players
Barcelona urgently need to sell some of their fringe players this summer to raise funds. The Catalan giants are in a dire financial situation due to the ongoing global pandemic. With debts and loans to repay, Barcelona could be forced to sell some of their high-earners in the ongoing transfer window.
Players who are on the cusp of an exit from the Nou Camp include Miralem Pjanic, Philippe Coutinho, Neto and Samuel Umtiti. The four players are not in Ronald Koeman’s plans for next season and will be sold to help Barcelona fund Lionel Messi’s new long-term deal.
Despite Barcelona’s willingness to sell Samuel Umtiti, no other club apart from Lyon have shown interest in the 27-year-old Frenchman.
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