A couple weeks ago, Chelsea were somewhat randomly linked with Barcelona center back Samuel Umtiti, who’s left-footed and quite good, but also is quite often injured lately. But with Chelsea expected to explore the market for defensive reinforcements and Barcelona looking to raise cash, the rumor wasn’t the most outrageous.
But according to the same source that linked the 26-year-old with Chelsea, he actually wants to stay at Barcelona and fight his way into the starting lineup. He apparently feels happier under Quique Setién than previous head coach Erenesto Valverde, having seen his station improve under the new boss.
But the report does leave an out as well, claiming that Umtiti still feels a bit “weird” about Barcelona shopping him around. In addition to Chelsea, Manchester United and PSG have been mentioned as potential destinations, although we weren’t exactly sold on that idea and not just because of his injury issues. (Chelsea do love an injury-induced bargain.)
Umtiti had been a solid defender for Barcelona from his arrival in 2016 until the end of the 2017-18 season, when his knee problems began. Those led to a decline in playing time, and an uptick in exit rumours. If he can put his injury issues behind him, he could be useful once again, but it seems like a risk few would be willing to take ... unless Barcelona heavily discount their €50m asking price.