Barcelona face Real Betis on Sunday hoping to solidify their place at the top of the La Liga table, and they could be handed a huge injury boost from Samuel Umtiti.
Things are going well for coach Ernesto Valverde and his players so far this season, as they top La Liga and their Champions League group.
However, having conceded 14 goals in their 11 league games to this point, giving them the joint-worst defensive record of the top six sides in the standings, there is an obvious flaw defensively in the current team and it hasn’t been helped by the absence of Umtiti since last month.
According to Mundo Deportivo though, the French international is pushing to be given the all-clear to feature for Barcelona when they face Betis at the weekend.
It’s added though that ultimately the medical staff and Valverde will have the final say, and there is a decision to be made as to whether or not to bring him back at this stage.
Given the international break follows this weekend, giving Umtiti that additional recovery time and to then make his comeback against Atletico Madrid on November 24, it would arguably be the more sensible option.
Nevertheless, that also depends on whether or not he features for France during the break, which would nullify that argument and suggest that perhaps he may as well play this Sunday if he is given the green light.
It remains to be seen what decision is reached, but the mere fact that Umtiti is closing in on a return will be music to the ears of Valverde, who will hope to restore him to his starting line-up sooner rather than later and potentially see him shore things up at the back.