Barcelona have moved quickly in the off season to shore up their back line following the departures of Dani Alves and Marc Bartra. Lyon president Jean-Michel confirmed on June 4 2016.
The Olympique Lyonnais president however stated that a deal was some way off:
“Barcelona have approached us about Umtiti about 10 days ago but there are no negotiations taking place yet. Samuel is not on the verge of leaving the club.”
Umtiti’s agent and brother Yannick echoed Aulas’ stance and insisted no transfer is being negotiated with Barcelona.
“I do not know where the information that it is already a done deal is coming from, there has not been contact with Barcelona yet. We are not negotiating about a transfer to Barcelona.”
Umtiti, a 22 year old central defender who can also play as a left back was recently called to the French National team squad to replace Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu who was injured out of the tournament. He has played 167 games for the French club thus far over the past 5 seasons since making his debut in the 2011-2012 season as a 19 year old. He has also represented France at all age group levels from u-17 up to u-21 and was a part of the France u-17 team that made it to the semi finals the 2010 European Championships. That team contained the likes of Alphonse Areola (Villareal), Paul Pogba (Juventus) and Lucas Digne (PSG).
Should negotiations be concluded Umtiti would follow in the footsteps of fellow Lyon old boy Eric Abidal who went on to play close to 200 games for the Blaugrana winning 15 titles and famously lifting the Champions League trophy in 2011. Abidal himself was full of praise for the young defender hailing him as “world class” on Lyon’s official website in May of this year.
For a video of some of Umtiti’s better plays last season please click here