Barcelona outcast Samuel Umtiti has emerged as a potential transfer target for cash-rich Newcastle United ahead of the January transfer window.
Newcastle United are very much keen to reinforce their squad in the upcoming window following their royal struggles in the Premier League this season. The Magpies’ new owners have made no secret that they want to be challenging for the top prize in England within the next five years. However, the first face the uphill task of keeping the club afloat in the top-flight, as manager Eddie Howe eyes new signings.
The winter transfer window represents the first opportunity for Eddie Howe to dip into the market, and strengthening the defensive ranks is seen as a top priority by the Newcastle chief. And the Toon Army view Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti as a realistic target to bolster their backline for the second half of the campaign.
Samuel Umtiti, 28, has been on the fringes of the Catalan club this season, featuring just once in all competitions. This indicates the staggering fall from grace of the Frenchman who was once regarded as one of the best central defenders in Europe. A spate of injuries and inconsistent form in recent years has also seen the defender lose his place in the France squad. Newcastle United also are eyeing a January swoop for out-of-favour Barcelona centre-back Clement Lenglet.
Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez has apparently made it clear that he has no part in his plans moving forward, leaving Umtiti’s future uncertain at Camp Nou. However, Newcastle have shown an interest in Umtiti of late and are willing to offer €20 million to sign the Barcelona defender next month.
Newcastle need quality signings to avoid relegation
Newcastle United, the richest club in world football, are embroiled in a relegation battle at the moment and Eddie Howe will need to make some changes to his squad to take the club out from the precarious position. Having shipped in 41 goals in 18 games, including 11 in the last three games, it’s not rocket science to understand where Howe’s priority lies currently.
The likes of Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark have all underperformed this season, making a series of unforced and schoolboy errors. The Magpies need at least a pair of quality centre-backs to steady the sinking ship, with their cash-rich owners having set their sights on recruiting Umtiti.
Is Samuel Umtiti the answer to Newcastle’s defensive problems?
There’s no doubting that Samuel Umtiti is an experienced, ball-playing defender, but he has been massively out of his depth for some time now at Barcelona. He continues to be overlooked by Xavi and there looks very little chance of redemption, at least at Camp Nou.
The French defender has seldom played in the last three years, and his injury record just doesn’t strike the right chords. In the midst of a relegation battle, Howe would expect new signings—if there’s any next month—to arrive at the club with energy, positivity and injury-free.
In that regard, Umtiti simply doesn’t fit the bill at St James’ Park and his signing should be avoided by Newcastle.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.