Barcelona transfer news: Premier League club plotting Umtiti move, Neymar's Griezmann reveal, and more - 11th February 2018
Chelsea planning to sign Samuel Umtiti
The Frenchman joined Barcelona from French side Lyon in the summer of 2015. Since then, he has proved to be one of the best signings in recent times for the club with his defensive prowess, composure and consistency.
Naturally, the 24-year old started attracting attention this season, especially being a left-sided centre-back, an uncommon breed compared to a right-sided one.
The potential suitors received a boost with Umtiti's release clause being a paltry €60 million (£53 million), less than what Liverpool stumped up for Virgil van Dijk (£75 million) and Manchester City paid for Aymeric Laporte (£57.2 million), who are both coincidentally left-sided centre-backs.
No wonder, English champions and the Blaugrana's next opponents in the Champions League, Chelsea, are now looking to lure the player to Stamford Bridge, as per Don Balon.
The Blues are reportedly willing to triple Umtiti's current wages of €3 million-per-season and are not the only high-profile club interested in him. Premier League giants Manchester United and Qatari-backed Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are also interested in the defender, as per the report.
Thus, Barcelona boss, Ernesto Valverde will be hoping that the ongoing contract talks bear fruit soon and the Catalan club can tie down Umtiti with a higher release clause, touted to be around €200 million to ward off suitors.
Else, it could prove catastrophic for the Blaugrana as both Gerard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen are on the wrong side of 30 and January signing, Yerry Mina, is untested at this level.
Neymar reveals PSG's Griezmann plans to Barcelona
The Brazilian left Barcelona to join the Ligue 1 giants last summer for a world-record fee (€222 million), after spending four successful seasons in Spain. The 26-year old formed one of the greatest attacking trios of all time with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, creating several fond memories during his time with the Blaugrana.
It is that relationship with the Catalan club which very likely played a part in revealing PSG's plans for Griezmann, as claimed by Spanish news outlet, Don Balon. The report states that Neymar found out, and subsequently told Barcelona that the French giants want to add the Atletico Madrid superstar to their attack and are planning a surprise bid in the summer.
While a move could see Griezmann return to his homeland, however, it can only happen if Edinson Cavani is sold in the summer, which is definitely possible. Despite the entire Barcelona board not being in agreement on signing Atletico's star forward, any deal will become much more difficult to compete with PSG in the fray.
Thus, Neymar's reveal could actually help Barcelona decide whether they actually want the player and if they do, then they need to act swiftly to complete the signing.
Philippe Coutinho was snubbed by Real Madrid
Barcelona's latest signing recently scored his first-ever goal for the club as he slowly acclimatises to his surroundings. Now, the Brazilian has made a surprising revelation to his team-mates, as per Diario Gol. The 25-year old told them how he was turned down by Real Madrid during the 2015/16 season.
Coutinho was struggling to find his feet at Liverpool during that time and was looking for a return to Spain, as he enjoyed the country and football during his time with Espanyol. His agent presented the situation to Madrid president, Florentino Perez, who was interested in signing the player.
However, Zinedine Zidane, the club's manager, rejected the player saying he wouldn't fit into the tactical system, as claimed in the report. Barcelona will definitely feel relieved with this knowledge as they have signed the player and not their arch-rivals. If initial indications are anything to go by, Coutinho is set to become an absolute asset for Valverde and the exact opposite for Madrid in the coming years.