Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti appears to have no reprieve in sight. The Frenchman has been blighted by recurring injuries over the last few seasons and is now set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo reports that Umtiti underwent surgery on Tuesday due to a fracture in his right foot. He'll now be out of action for three months.
Having made just one appearance this season due to fitness concerns, the centre-back's case has gone from bad to worse. However, he's still expected to return before the end of April and could play a part in helping the Catalans close out the campaign strongly.
The club had been looking to sell the player in the January transfer window following his recent decline but this setback has now hampered their ambitions.
Signed from French side Lyon in 2016 for €25 million, Umtiti took no time to establish himself at the heart of Barcelona's defense.
But since the 2018/19 season, he's not made even 15 appearances in a single campaign, and his time at the club now seems over.
Just a few days ago, Umtiti signed a contract extension with Barcelona for a reduced salary that's set to keep him at the Camp Nou until 2026.
However, it was a move to avoid losing the player to a free transfer this summer.
Umtiti to leave Barcelona after the 2021/22 season
It has not yet been confirmed, but it is widely touted. And given the recent developments at the club, Umtiti is likely to leave the club in the summer.
There had been talks of a possible loan move but now both parties will have to wait until the 2021/22 season to end to decide on his future.
Newcastle United, following their Saudi takeover, have been tentatively linked with the player but those rumors were put to rest following his extension.
However, should the Magpies manage to avoid relegation and stay afloat in the Premier League, they could come for him again in the summer.
Last year, there were also rumors of a sensational return to Lyon, albeit it didn't take long for them to die away.
It will be interesting to see how Umtiti's long-winded transfer saga plays out.