French giants set to pull out of negotiations for Barcelona centre-back

 

Samuel Umtiti of FC Barcelona in action during a training session at Camp Nou on January 03, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. 

Fresh from sanctioning the sale of Clement Lenglet to Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona are hopeful of offloading their fringe players in the team in the coming weeks, including Samuel Umtiti.

However, the Catalans have faced a massive setback in their quest to offload Umtiti, as his suitors Rennes have backed out from the pursuit, reports Fabrizio Romano.

The Ligue 1 outfit were keen on securing the services of the Frenchman this summer, particularly due to their coach Bruno Genesio. The French tactician had coached Umtiti at Lyon and was increasingly keen on sealing a reunion at Rennes.

Umtiti was likely identified as a direct replacement for Nayef Aguerd, who had joined West Ham on a big-money move earlier in the summer.

However, lately, there were a few doubts internally from the Rennes camp over the club’s pursuit of the Barcelona centre-back. Although Genesio was keen on signing the Frenchman, the board was worried about the player’s questionable injury record at Camp Nou.

As such, it appears Rennes have now backed out from the negotiations to sign Umtiti and are now prioritising a move for Morato from Benfica. The tall Brazilian centre-back has been identified as an ideal alternative for Umtiti, as he is younger and has shown no injury issues since his move to Europe last summer.

Hence, a move to Rennes could be ruled out for Umtiti. Barcelona, though, are not giving up on their quest to offload the Frenchman and are even willing to provide him with the letter of freedom in order to eliminate the prospect of paying any transfer fee for the suitor.

A lot could become clearer in the coming weeks, as Barcelona continue their preparations for the new season whilst sanctioning the sale of their unwanted stars.

 

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