Umtiti nears Newcastle United move

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Newcastle United have turned their attention towards Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti with a view to bolstering their backline this month.

The Magpies have been after a centre-back and, after negotiations for Lille's Sven Botman broke down, they appear to have settled on Umtiti. A loan deal is being discussed between the clubs and it has been reported that there will be no option to buy included, as the Frenchman wants to return to Barcelona at the end of the season.

Barcelona had tried to ship out Umtiti last summer, but he was unwilling to move and asked to stay until January, despite having offers on the table from Italy. Now, the 28-year-old accepts he must leave, but he only wants to go temporarily and only to a club who can offer European competition, which Newcastle cannot.

What Newcastle can offer, however, is to cover a large portion of Umtiti's wages, which is music to Joan Laporta's ears. The Blaugrana are keen to offload Umtiti, along with Philippe Coutinho, who has also attracted Premier League interest, as soon as possible to enable them to register Ferran Torres and give them greater flexibility in the January transfer window.

All down to Umtiti

With both clubs eager to close a deal, all that remains to be seen is whether Umtiti himself accepts the move and it does appear that a compromise may be close. If he does go, the centre-back will find himself in a relegation battle, but Newcastle's new owners seem keen to spend big this month to lift themselves out of their current predicament.

With a World Cup around the corner, regular game time in the Premier League could be attractive, too. Umtiti has 31 France caps and won the World Cup with Les Bleus in 2018, but he hasn't featured since 2019.

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