Samuel Umtiti Says He Will Stay at Barcelona Amid Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 24, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 9: Samuel Umtiti of FC Barcelona during the La Liga Santander  match between FC Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou on March 9, 2019 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has confirmed he will play his football at the Camp Nou next season amid speculation he could move elsewhere in the summer.

Umtiti joined the Blaugrana from Lyon in the summer of 2016 and has impressed a lot despite injury setbacks in Catalonia. The centre-back is currently away with France on international duty and was asked by Telefoot (h/t Sport) if he would be at Barcelona next term, to which he replied: "Yes."

The 25-year-old performed better in Telefoot's game this time around, whereby players must answer questions with a "Yes or No" but have the option of using a "joker" card once to avoid responding. Umtiti was asked in 2018 whether he would join Manchester United and used his get-out-of-jail option on that occasion.

There are no immediate concerns over the Frenchman's future considering he's contracted to the club until 2023 and Barcelona regularly challenge for the biggest trophies in European football.

Sportswriter Muhammad Butt hailed the former Ligue 1 star as one of Barca's best signings in recent times:

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Umtiti has only made nine appearances this season because of a knee injury, but Barca manager Ernesto Valverde recently welcomed his star back into the fold.

Valverde has other options in Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Thomas Vermaelen and Jean-Clair Todibo, though there's no doubt Umtiti reigns as the superior option alongside the former when fit.

Sportswriter Richard Martin noted the French connection developing among the Camp Nou defence, though Todibo's move from Toulouse was rushed to completion in January:

Umtiti has won the Copa del Rey in each of his two seasons at the Camp Nou and could come back to play his role in a third successive title defence, with Barca and Valencia set to clash in the final in May. 

Having appeared to learn his lesson from last year, the defender was much more assured in judging his Barcelona future this time around, with his remarks sure to go down better among supporters.

Vermaelen, 33, looks set to leave Barcelona when his contract expires in the summer, while 19-year-old Todibo is far from the finished product.

Umtiti is poised to play a big hand in Barca's transition to playing without Pique when he eventually leaves the club, with no room for doubt in regard to his future at the Camp Nou.

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