Barcelona have significantly re-evaluated their asking price for Samuel Umtiti as they look to offload the Frenchman to any interested parties.
Umtiti joined Barcelona for £22.5m from Ligue 1 giants Olympique Lyonnais in the summer of 2016, but has been plagued with injuries for much of his time at the Camp Nou.
This season the centre-back’s involvement has been restricted to nine league starts, amid continued struggle with foot and knee injuries.
The La Liga leaders don’t boast an overwhelming strength in depth when it comes to centre back options, with Clément Lenglet and 33-year-old Gerard Piqué the only two senior players who naturally fill that role.
Nevertheless, Barcelona are keen to facilitate a move for the 26-year-old, according to daily publication Sport, lowering their asking price to €30m. Barcelona supposedly need the funds generated from Umtiti’s sale – along with the healthy reduction of the wage bill – to finance a move for Inter striker Lautaro Martínez.
Earlier in May, a 90min exclusive revealed that Barcelona were close to completing a deal for the 22-year-old Argentinian. Lautaro’s arrival doesn’t exactly address Barcelona’s lack of cover at the back, but it’s a move that the club are keen to pursue as Luis Suarez enters the twilight of his career.
Sport also suggest that Umtiti could be included as part of Lautaro’s transfer – to go alongside the swap deal Barcelona are supposedly negotiating with the Nerazzurri’s Serie A rivals Juventus. However, Umtiti is yet to receive any calls from Inter despite the fact that Barcelona have reportedly informed his people they are willing to listen to offers for him.
Dries Mertens’ touted move from Napoli to Inter was thought to have been the first step towards Lautaro’s departure. That is, until the announcement of a three-year contract extension for Mertens at Napoli swiftly squashed Inter’s initial attempts at replacing Lautaro.
To put another spanner in the works, Umtiti’s is thought to strongly favour a move to Chelsea ahead of any other destination. The reduction in his valuation may seem get his wish, providing Frank Lampard chooses to prioritise reinforcing his backline.