Barcelona Transfer News: Samuel Umtiti Comments on Latest Blaugrana Rumours

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2016

LYON, FRANCE - JANUARY 9: Samuel Umtiti of Lyon in action during the French Ligue 1 match between Olympique Lyonnais (OL) and Troyes ESTAC at their brand new stadium, Parc Olympique Lyonnais on January 9, 2016 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Lyon centre-back Samuel Umtiti said he is flattered by reports linking him with a move to Barcelona but insisted he has made no decision on his future and is focused only on the upcoming UEFA European Championship. 

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas recently hinted that Barca had been in touch with him over making a move for the France international, per RMC (h/t ESPN FC's Mark Rodden).

However, with Euro 2016 set to begin in France on Friday, the 22-year-old defender said his future is still up in the air, per L'Equipe (via Goal's Dejan Kalinic):

Barcelona are a club where many players would like to play. 

But I have a contract with Lyon as everyone knows and as we have done this season, the option to go to Barcelona is not present.

Everyone is possible, both to stay and go.

Honestly, for the moment, I am concentrating on the European Championship. I want to do the right thing and then we'll talk with my club.

Barca have a strong squad but are still lacking in some key areas, and Bleacher Report's Dean Jones believes their primary target this summer should be Celta Vigo's Nolito to add depth to their attack:

However, arguably where they are shortest on quality is in the centre of defence. There is little back-up for Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano—Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen aren't overly reliable.

Manager Luis Enrique needs to add further quality to the middle of his defence and Umtiti could be the ideal signing. He is a talented young centre-back and can also play as a left-back or in a defensive-midfield role.

Per WhoScored.com, he is a strong tackler and ball-winner, while Umtiti is also comfortable on the ball and playing out from the back, an indication that he could fit well into Barcelona's style of play:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Samuel Umtiti: Of U23 players in Ligue 1 this term, only Sylla (147) won possession in the defensive third more times than @UmtitiSam (138)

He made 30 appearances for Lyon in Ligue 1 in 2015-16 as they came second in the French top flight, per WhoScored

Umtiti would not come cheap, with a L'Equipe report having indicated that Barca are preparing a €25 million (£19.5 million) bid for him, via Rodden.

However, given his youth and potential, and the fact that he could solve Barca's depth issues in the middle of defence, he could well be worth it.

Barca clearly, though, are going to have to wait until after the summer's major tournament to establish whether they can snap him up.


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