?Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti has reaffirmed his desire to stay with the Spanish champions, despite rumours of a move away from Catalonia this summer.
The World Cup winner was ousted from Ernesto Valverde’s starting XI last campaign following the splendid showings of new arrival Clement Lenglet, who was brought in from Sevilla for €35m last July.
Nevertheless, Umtiti has told French radio station ?RTL he has no intention of leaving La Blaugrana anytime soon and is working hard to win his place in the side back.
A host of? Premier League clubs were thought to be monitoring the 25-year-old’s situation at ?Barça, though the defender ?allegedly told his agents he was prepared to stay and fight his way back into contention.
Umtiti made just 14 ?La Liga appearances in 2018/19, a sizeable drop-off from the 25 matches he featured in the year prior, an outcome that can largely be chalked up to Lenglet’s immaculate displays at the back.
In his interview with RTL, the former Lyon man declared: “I have a contract and I feel happy in Barcelona. I had a complicated season, but that’s not why I will have any desire [to leave]; I’ll be in Barcelona next season.”
For sure, Umtiti was not at his absolute best last campaign, though he was hardly a liability that Valverde had to compensate for, either. Therefore, his decision to stay will no doubt be a welcome one for the boss.
The Frenchman was a solid performer during his country’s victorious Russian adventure 10 months ago, making it something of a no-brainer for Valverde to keep him in his squad.
Even if Umtiti remains amongst the substitutes next term, having players of his quality is vital when battling in both domestic competition and abroad.