Greek giants Olympiacos are reportedly set to hold talks with Barcelona over the possible signing of injury-prone defender Samuel Umtiti.
According to Moi Llorens of ESPN, Barcelona and Olympiacos are set to hold discussions over a potential move for out-of-favour defender Samuel Umtiti in the ongoing transfer window.
Umtiti has been with Barcelona for six years now, having arrived from Olympique Lyon in the summer of 2016. However, the Frenchman has been largely out of favour at Camp Nou over the past two-three years, with injuries and inconsistent performances seeing him drop down the pecking order.
Umtiti has been linked with an exit from Barcelona for a while now. But his wages and injury record has made it difficult for the club to get rid of him. However, after having played just one game last season, the Frenchman has been told in no uncertain terms that he needs to find a new club this summer as there is no place for him in manager Xavi Hernandez’s plans.
A transfer to French club Rennes was in the works but it ended up collapsing, leaving Umtiti in limbo. The 28-year-old has some interest from clubs in Turkey, but there has been no concrete movement on that front so far, making his situation an issue for Barcelona as they need to get rid of unwanted players to clear up space on their wage bill.
Now, Olympiacos have emerged as a possible destination for Umtiti. The Greek giants are looking to strengthen their defence this summer and are mulling over a move for the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner. To that end, they are set to initiate talks with Barcelona over a potential move, with officials from Olympiacos set to arrive in Catalonia on Monday.
The Greek club wish to sign Umtiti on a season-long loan deal for the 2022/23 campaign. While Barcelona would be happy to sanction a loan exit, the percentage of wages either club will have to bear could be a major point of contention. Ideally, the Blaugrana would prefer to get his entire salary off the books, but that is an unlikely scenario at the moment, and they must arrive at a compromise with Olympiacos.
A fresh start away from the spotlight could be good for Umtiti as he looks to leave his injury ordeals behind and restart his career at Olympiacos.