Given Chelsea’s desire to bring in a new centre back (preferably a left-footed one), it was only a matter of time before we got linked with Samuel Umtiti.
The France international defender was one of the highest-rated young centre backs in world football at one time, but injuries have kept him out of action for long periods in recent years.
Diario Sport report that Barcelona are willing to offload Umtiti to raise some funds for making signings of their own when the the transfer window opens while also linking Chelsea at the same time.
On paper, the 26-year-old is a bona fide option to upgrade our defense, but the biggest concern will be his injury history. He's missed a whopping 58 games(!) since 2016 because of injuries. His numbers have fallen off since his injury issues started, which is understandable, but there’s no guarantee that he will reach the level that was once expected of him.
Barcelona manager Quique Setien wouldn't mind keeping Umtiti for next season of course, but the Barca hierarchy believe that there is no way that Umtiti and Lenglet can be kept in the same roster and would rather sell when the time is still ripe.
Umtiti has reported interest from Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal as well, but Barcelona are still pessimistic about getting the €50 million they want. They’re also apparently considering to use Umtiti as makeweight in a move for Neymar due to PSG’s need for a centre back as this might be the only way that they can offload him for his perceived market value.
From Chelsea’s perspective, it’s better to look at alternate options since Umtiti seems to be in a state of constant decline and there are no assurances that he will reach the top level that was once associated with him.