Barcelona on verge of confirming new signing as they solve defensive issue

Barcelona have reportedly secured the signing of Lyon defender Samuel Umtiti, with the Frenchman agreeing to a five-year deal.

The 22-year-old established himself as a key member of the Lyon squad, as he made 38 appearances in all competitions last season with his side finishing in second place in Ligue 1 behind Paris Saint-Germain.

Although official confirmation is currently missing, it is merely a matter of time before it arrives with Mundo Deportivo reporting that an agreement has been reached on personal terms, with a deal with the two clubs soon to arrive.

Talks between the two parties were on-going as of Tuesday, with the Catalan club expected to sign Umtiti for around €25m, although various bonuses included in the deal could take that figure up to €30m in time.

It isn’t expected that any obstacles will now be raised to prevent the deal from happening, and so in turn Barca look as though they are finally set to address an issue that could have proved more problematic ahead of next season.

Although the partnership between Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano has helped them to great success in recent years, it is clear that Luis Enrique would benefit from having an established centre-half that could hold down the position for many years.

Mascherano turned 32 last week and has been linked with an exit this summer, while Pique will turn next 30 February with few other consistent options available to Enrique moving forward.

Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen remain in the squad but haven’t been able to hold down the position for themselves, while Marc Bartra was sold to Dortmund earlier this month.

As a result, defensive reinforcements were necessary, and Umtiti, who has the versatility to also play at left-back, will be seen as an ideal signing that can now form a part of the Barcelona defence for years to come.

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