Samuel Umtiti Set for Barcelona Exit With Serie A Switch Mooted

Injuries put Samuel Umtiti on the periphery at Barcelona last season
Injuries put Samuel Umtiti on the periphery at Barcelona last season | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti is expected to depart Camp Nou this summer, with Serie A hinted as his next challenge.

Recurring knee issues somewhat thwarted Umtiti’s 2019/20 campaign as he made a mere 13 La Liga appearances, while the Frenchman made just one start following Spanish football’s restart last month.

Samuel Umtiti, Fedor SmolovSamuel Umtiti, Fedor Smolov
Umtiti endured a tough afternoon in his sole start since the restart at Celta Vigo | Octavio Passos/Getty Images

With Barcelona not exactly keen to keep a highly-paid, third-choice centre half on their books, Catalunya-based news outlet SPORT understands the 26-year-old will depart in the upcoming transfer window, with the club keen to add fresh faces to the backline this summer.

Umtiti has reportedly been told ‘that a way out must be sought’ and both parties believe the best option would be a transfer – potentially a loan.

His future destination, however, remains in the dark.

Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have all previously been tipped as potential suitors, but the report notes that a switch to the slower-paced football of Serie A would be a wise move for the injury-prone Frenchman.

Kalidou KoulibalyKalidou Koulibaly
The Frenchman could be Kalidou Koulibaly’s replacement at Napoli | Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

If Napoli were to move on from Kalidou Koulibaly this summer, that may well be a move for Umtiti, while Juventus have also previously been linked with the former Lyon man.

The form of Clement Lenglet last season means the Catalans are seemingly willing to let Umtiti depart at the next given opportunity. Lenglet struggled to immediately convince following his £32m move from Sevilla in 2018, but has evolved into an undroppable figure in Quique Setien’s defence alongside Gerard Pique.

He was outstanding during a dysfunctional campaign for La Blaugrana and if Umtiti was to leave this summer, it’s understood Barcelona are more than happy to grant 21-year-old Ronald Araujo more minutes next season.

Clement LengletClement Lenglet
Clement Lenglet made the most of Umtiti’s demise with a stellar 2019/20 campaign | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The Uruguayan impressed with most of the opportunities he was presented with last term.

Nevertheless, the Catalans will also be looking to bolster their defence – especially if Umtiti leaves – in the upcoming window and have identified Manchester City and former La Masia starlet Eric Garcia as Gerard Pique’s long-term successor at the club.