Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, who has been linked with a move away from Catalonia in the early stages of the transfer window, has played down a possible summer exit.
A serious knee injury, coupled with the emergence of Clement Lenglet, has seen the Frenchman fall down the pecking order at the Camp Nou.
Umtiti at Barca in 2018/19: Five key things to know…
- Since signing from Lyon in 2016 Umtiti has proven a solid acquisition at the back for Barca.
- The Frenchman played a key role in Les Bleus’ World Cup winning campaign last summer.
- Having suffered a knee complication in 2018/19, Umtiti mustered just 13 La Liga starts.
- Lenglet, signed from Sevilla last summer, has formed a formidable centre-back partnership with Gerard Pique in the absence of Umtiti, leading to rumours of a move to Arsenal.
- Despite falling down the pecking order under Ernesto Valverde, Umtiti has vowed to honour his Barca contract.
In total, the 25-year-old missed 28 matches through injury, and while he has admitted the season was a “complicated” one under Ernesto Valverde, the 29-time France international has pledged to fight on.
Speaking to French outlet RTL, he said: “I have a contract, I feel happy in Barcelona.
“I had a complicated season but that’s not a reason to have desires elsewhere. I will be at Barcelona next season.”
The defender’s comments appear to have ended the slender hopes some Arsenal fans had in regards to the Gunners’ reported interest in Umtiti.
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Umtiti plays down Griezmann to Barca
Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann will part company from the Wanda Metropolitano this summer and rumours have been rife the 28-year-old will pitch up at Barca.
The Blaugrana attempted to prise the Atleti talisman away from the capital last summer and it is widely believed the club will renew their interest this time around, but Umtiti has revealed he has heard no noise from his dressing room regarding the matter of his international teammate.
He said: “Will he [Griezmann] be at Barcelona? That’s a very good question.
“The truth is, I never heard anybody talk about him in our dressing room. Maybe I wasn’t there when it happened.”