Long way back for Umtiti

It wasn’t that long ago that Samuel Umtiti was a fixture in Barcelona’s back four. An untouchable player and one of the first on the team sheet.

He’d taken to La Liga effortlessly and, considering how prices for players have sky-rocketed, at just €25m, he looked like an absolute bargain.

His skillset also complemented that of Gerard Pique perfectly, and there were never any question marks over his starting spot in the team.

In the space of a year, all that has changed. Continue reading

Is it the end for Samuel Umtiti at Barcelona?

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There was a time, not so long ago, when Samuel Umtiti was considered untouchable at Barcelona.

One of a select band of players that, come hell or high water, were not going anywhere.

Part of the furniture might be an apt description for the Frenchman at that point.

But how quickly things can change… Continue reading

De Ligt and a summer of change at Barcelona

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After capturing the mercurial talent of Frenkie De Jong, it appears that Barcelona are in pole position to sign his current Ajax team-mate, Matthijs De Ligt.

The 19-year-old centre-back is wanted by all of Europe’s top clubs but has allegedly told those close to him that he ‘only wants Barcelona.’

That’s a real coup for the Catalans, who see De Ligt as a future captain of the club and a player who’ll be a mainstay in their defence for the next decade. Continue reading

Barcelona aiming to have La Liga title secure by April

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Barcelona will look to have successfully retained their La Liga title before the end of April, in time for a potential Champions League semi final.

As it stands, Ernesto Valverde’s side a huge favourites to win back to back domestic titles, with a ten point lead over second place Atletico Madrid, with nine games to go in the 2018-19 campaign.

If Barcelona win all of their forthcoming games, they will be Spanish champions again with three games to spare – winning the league at home to Levante at the Nou Camp on April 27th.

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Lenglet’s form could see Umtiti leave Barcelona this summer

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Who’d have thought it?!

With a handful of games to go in the 2018/19 La Liga season, teams are already jostling for position in terms of transfer dealings and one of the most surprising rumours surrounds Samuel Umtiti.

The World Cup winner, arguably one of the best central defenders in the world, could be on his way out of Barcelona thanks to the form of Clement Lenglet. Continue reading

Messi on fire as Barcelona win at Sevilla

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There was no looking past the world’s best player on Saturday afternoon as Lionel Messi put on another masterclass to help Barcelona win 4-2 at Sevilla.

The home side actually went ahead through a well-taken finish from Jesus Navas but Messi equalised with a sublime left-footed volley just minutes later.

Sevilla were in the lead again at half-time, however, after Gabriel Mercado scored three minutes before the break. Pablo Machin’s side were good value for their 2-1 lead at that stage.

Machin’s half-time team-talk probably consisted of something like “keep Messi quiet and we can win this”.

Barcelona face tough run, as Real Madrid mount challenge

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Defending La Liga champions are facing a tough run of fixtures in domestic and European action, just as bitter rivals Real Madrid are preparing a late bid for the league title.

Ernesto Valverde’s side have drawn their last two league games, against Valencia and Athletic Bilbao, dropping four key points, in the same fortnight that Santiago Solari’s team have beaten Alaves and Atletico Madrid.

That has nudged Los Blancos ahead of their city rivals as the Catalan side’s main challengers, and the current leaders will be looking over their shoulder.

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Barcelona swoop for Valencia defender Jeison Murillo

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Barcelona have made their first move of the La Liga January 2019 transfer window, by bringing in 26 year old defender Jeison Murillo on a loan dea until the end of the season, from Valencia.

Colombian international Murillo has appeared just once in league action for Marcelino’s side so far this season, after joining from Italian side Inter Milan in the summer.

Murillo initially signed on a two year loan contract at the start of last season, with an obligation for Valencia to buy inserted into the details the deal.

Valencia exercised the purchase option at the start of the season, after he made 17 La Liga appearances in 2017-18, as they returned to the Top Four in Spain. However he has become more and more of a fringe player this season, and now Barcelona have accepted a purchase option on him at the end of the 2018-19 campaign.

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Umtiti’s selfishness could cost Barca

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Samuel Umtiti is going to have ‘conservative’ treatment on his persistent knee problems in a bid to cure them, rather than resorting to surgery.

The Barcelona centre-back has clearly been short of his best this season, and one can deduce that it’s due in no small part to those ongoing issues.

To that end, it’s surprising that the French World Cup winner, when the problem first became apparent, didn’t immediately go under the knife and ensure the problem was resolved once and for all. Continue reading

Barcelona set for Umtiti injury waiting game

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Barcelona have confirmed that defender Samuel Umtiti will not undergo knee surgery, but the La Liga holders have confirmed that he will remained sidelined with the issue.

Umtiti had not played for the Catalan side since September 26th, prior to their 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid last weekend.

However manager Ernesto Valverde brought the French international back into the fold for the crunch tie against Diego Simeone’s side, despite uncertainty over his fitness, due to other defenders being ruled out.

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