Despite recent reports in England and France, Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti will not be joining Manchester City in January, according to two well-known Spanish journalists.
In his blog for Mundo Deportivo, Xavier Bosch gave some very convincing reasons why a deal for Umtiti will not happen in the winter transfer window.
He wrote: “I don’t believe it. Beyond the confidence in the happiness of Umtiti at Barça and his tranquility, playing Godfather to Dembélé, I do not believe that Ferran Soriano, who wanted to be president of Barça, Pep Guardiola, the best coach in our history, and Txiki Begiristain are willing to take a crack of Camp Nou without negotiating before. If a year and a half ago they did not want to do it with Messi, now I do not see them able to perpetrate it with Umtiti.”
Albert Rogé of rival Barcelona-based newspaper SPORT has similar feelings about the possibility of Umtiti swapping Camp Nou for the Etihad Stadium this month.
He tweeted that Umtiti is not a City target for the simple reason that he is happy at Barcelona – plus a mid-season move would make him ineligible in the Champions League.
Rogé says that City’s target is another La Liga defender Iñigo Martínez and states that Real Sociedad will not negotiate on his price and that City will have to pay his full €32million (£28.5million) release clause to extract him from the Anoeta Stadium.
El City de Guardiola se olvida de Umtiti, que es feliz en Barcelona y quiere renovar. Su objetivo para reforzar la defensa es Iñigo Martínez. La Real no quiere negociar y tendrían que pagar la cláusula de 32M pic.twitter.com/YTRV1fyHBU
— Albert Rogé (@albert_roge) January 4, 2018
Meanwhile, Jonny Evans also continues to be linked, with ESPN FC journalist Pete O’Rourke claiming that City are confident of signing the West Brom skipper in January.
It does appear that if City are to recruit a centre-back this month, it’ll be Iñigo Martínez or Jonny Evans – but who will it be?