Xavi wants injury-prone Barcelona star gone, friendship with Pique complicating matters | OneFootball
Xavi wants injury-prone Barcelona star gone, friendship with Pique complicating matters
It is quite perplexing as to how Samuel Umtiti remains a Barcelona player even now.
Signed from Olympique Lyon in 2016, the Frenchman enjoyed an impressive debut campaign at Camp Nou but has been on a downward spiral ever since, thanks to his never-ending knee issues.
The 28-year-old had been out of favour under the last two managers at Barca and was tipped to leave the club in the summer transfer window. Yet, the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner stayed on but has not taken the field even once this season.
With Ronald Koeman gone, Umtiti might have hoped for a turnaround of fortunes under the new management of Xavi Hernandez. However, El Nacional reports that the 41-year-old Barca boss has no intentions of working with the France international and does not see him as part of his plans at Camp Nou.
It is further stated that the new Barcelona manager wants Joan Laporta to offload Umtiti in the January transfer window. But any such operation would be complicated for the club to execute as, firstly, the 28-year-old is adamant that he does not want to leave Camp Nou as he wishes to see his contract out, which expires in 2023.
In addition, the report alleges that Umtiti’s friendship with teammate Gerard Pique might be playing a role in the Frenchman’s extended stay. The two defenders are represented by the same agency, led by Arturo Canales, and are believed to have close ties.
With Pique being a senior figure in the dressing room and having close ties with the Barca hierarchy, it could be a factor behind the ex-Lyon star still being at the club.
It has been previously speculated that Xavi also wants the Frenchman to continue as he, too, is represented by the same agency. However, the report insists that it is not the case, and the Barcelona manager does not see the injury-prone star as a part of his ideas moving forward and wants him off the books in order to make room for new signings.