Juventus have received a boost in their pursuit of Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, according to reports. The Old Lady are preparing for defensive reinforcements in January to address their and are interested in the French defender.
Umtiti joined the Catalans in the summer of 2016 and soon became an integral part of the Barcelona team. He was crucial for the club’s La Liga triumph in the 2017/18 season. However, it was around the same time that his injury woes began to surface. The Frenchman managed 15 and 18 appearances in all competitions respectively in the last two seasons, spending a majority of the time on the treatment table.
Umtiti made his first appearance of this season for Barcelona this week, coming off the bench in the 3-0 defeat at the hands of Juventus. And it now appears that he could be shifting base to Turin soon.
Barcelona could let Umitit join Juventus on loan
Barcelona are reportedly looking to offload the player and are willing to let him join Juventus in January. The Catalans are eager to remove him from their wage structure and are ready to lower their valuation of the player to ensure he moves on.
The Spanish giants are even willing to let him leave on loan. Barcelona are also looking to give him more opportunities with the first team to boost his chances of securing a loan deal next month.
Injury troubles have hit the Juventus defense this season, with the Old Lady already missing four central defenders from the squad. That has often forced new manager Andrea Pirlo to play with just one central defender in the team on more than a few occasions. The Serie A champions are already missing Matthijs de Ligt, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, and Merih Demiral so far.
Besides, Daniele Rugani, who joined Rennes on loan this season, has also struggled with injury, making just one appearance so far for the French side. As such, Juventus’ interest in the Barcelona man is understandable. However, this move does have an inherent risk associated with it.
While there’s no doubt that Umtiti is a fine defender, his recent injury records suggest that he could prove to be a gamble for the Old Lady. Barcelona wouldn’t mind seeing the last of him, but would he be the ideal addition to a Juventus team that is already crippled with injuries to central defenders? Only time will tell.