?Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti has admitted that he hopes to end his playing days at Camp Nou, but he remains concerned by a lack of game time under Ernesto Valverde.
The Frenchman has made just four appearances for La Blaugrana during the 2019/20 campaign, having suffered from both knee and foot injuries in the early months of the season. He was likewise plagued by fitness issues last term, playing in only 15 games due to various issues.
After joining from Lyon for a fee of €25m in 2016, the 26-year-old quickly secured a starting berth in Catalunya, featuring in over 40 matches during each of his two ?La Liga campaigns.
Asked if he hopes to stay with ?Barça for the remainder of his career, Umtiti said (as quoted by ?Sport): “You never know, it could happen, I don’t know. I’d love it, I’d love to end my career here at Barca. But, I’m young, right. I have time and I have to play, play, play and win titles.”
Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet have become Valverde’s first choice centre-back pairing since the latter’s arrival in the summer of 2018, La Blaugrana paying Sevilla €35.9m for his services.
However, Umtiti was handed a start in Wednesday night’s 3-1 defeat of ?Borussia Dortmund in the ?Champions League, which sealed the Spaniards’ place at the top of Group F.
Despite revealing his ‘love’ for Barcelona and a strong desire to stay with them, the World Cup winner ?recently admitted he’s open to the idea of rejoining Lyon, though that could be in a coaching role.
Umtiti spent 14 years with the Ligue 1 outfit, having progressed through Les Gones’ academy. The chances of him returning to Les Gones have been helped by suggestions La Blaugrana will ?look to sell the defender in January after failing to move him on over the off-season.
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