According to several reports in the English media, reigning Premier League champions Liverpool have identified potential solutions to their defensive issues in the transfer market and are likely to place a bid for Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti in the January transfer window.
Samuel Umtiti has struggled at Barcelona over the past two years and is on his way out of the club this year. The French defender was one of the most promising prospects in Europe at his peak but has not had the best luck with injuries in his last two seasons at Barcelona.
The new season's hectic schedule has taken its toll on a Liverpool squad that is currently competing on multiple fronts in England and in Europe. Jurgen Klopp has already voiced his concerns about Liverpool's calendar this year and the club's recent injury issues have validated his concerns.
Barcelona have also had their fair share of problems this season but are unlikely to bank on Samuel Umtiti's return to solve their defensive woes. The Catalans are in dire need of financial resources at the moment and will have to sell some of their star players in the coming month to cope with the remains of Josep Bartomeu's disastrous regime.
Liverpool close in on transfer for Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti
Samuel Umtiti enjoyed an excellent start to his Barcelona career and was touted as the rightful heir to Carles Puyol's legendary throne at the club. The French defender formed an excellent partnership with Gerard Pique in Barcelona's defensive line and was at his best under Luis Enrique.
A series of injuries to his knee and hamstring hampered Samuel Umtiti's Barcelona dream, however, and the centre-back was replaced by Clement Lenglet in the Blaugrana line-up. Umtiti has not been able to reclaim his place at Barcelona and fallen behind Ronald Araujo in the club's pecking order.
The centre-back has been heavily linked with a move away from Barcelona in the recent past. Several Premier League clubs have expressed interest in the Frenchman and will have to negotiate with Barcelona in the winter transfer window.
Liverpool have serious issues to resolve in their defence this season and will need to dig deep into their squad to identify replacements to a depleted back-line. Virgil van Dijk's long-term injury has hampered the Reds' defence and Jurgen Klopp will need to find an alternative in the coming months.
Trent-Alexander Arnold and Joel Matip have also picked up injuries and are ruled out for the next few weeks. Klopp's experiment with Fabinho in the centre of defence worked well last month but the Brazilian has also been struggling with his fitness.
Liverpool need to identify a few options in the transfer market and Jurgen Klopp will need to pull another rabbit out of his hat to ensure that the Merseyside giants defend their Premier League title. Barcelona will make Samuel Umtiti available for sale in the transfer market and Liverpool's desperate situation is likely to fetch the Blaugrana an impressive fee.
Arsenal and Manchester United have also been linked with a move for the Barcelona star and will provide Liverpool with stiff competition in the transfer market. Liverpool will have to flex their financial muscle in the coming months to complete the acquisition of the Barcelona defender.
Published 18 Nov 2020, 14:29 IST