The Spanish champions are set to complete their first piece of business this summer with this Sevilla defender, as Samuel Umtiti is rumoured to be on his way out
Even before the season is fully done and dusted – there’s one more round to go in La Liga – Barcelona are already looking forward to the next season. Or at least, the next set of business as they are reportedly set to activate the release clause of Sevilla’s Clement Lenglet, the centre-back who might replace his compatriot Samuel Umtiti.
The 22-year old would cost €35 million and would be signing a 5-year deal with the Catalans, the first transfer to be carried out by them this summer.
Barcelona centre-back Umtiti has apparently asked for a pay as much as what Gerard Pique takes home. But the club is reluctant to meet the demands at this stage. The Frenchman was signed two summers ago from Ligue 1 outfit Lyon and has impressed in both seasons thus far.
But his recent contract farrago has thrown his future with the club up in the air. He has a release clause of €60 million in his contract, but there are no short of suitors who’re willing to splash the cash to activate it. Umtiti has been linked with a number of high-profile clubs across Europe and would be replaced by Lenglet, who operates from the same position if he were to depart eventually.
Lenglet has grown in stature at the club. From just 17 appearances in his first season to 30 in the current one, his stock continues to go up and has also drawn plenty of superlatives for his performances at the heart of Sevilla’s backline. Even if Umtiti were to stay put, he would be used as an able back-up, and might as well succeed Gerard Pique in the future.
That’s a good piece of business by the Catalans, given that they lack quality backup options in defense. The likes of Thomas Vermaelen and Nelson Semedo proved be a disaster in the 5-4 loss to Levante last Sunday, so Barcelona are understandably bringing Lenglet in. And on paper, it appears to be a fine move.