Barcelona are reportedly considering signing a defender next summer given Samuel Umtiti’s ongoing injury troubles as he suffered another setback this week.
After making just 15 appearances last season, the Frenchman was sidelined to start this campaign too as he continued his recovery from a knee problem.
There was good news last weekend as he finally made his comeback in the win over Eibar, but he misses out in the Champions League in midweek against Slavia Prague after sustaining a setback with the same knee.
According to Calciomercato, a priority for Barcelona next summer could now be to bolster their defensive options given Umtiti’s inability to stay fit and steer clear of injury problems.
Three names are even specifically mentioned as possible solutions, with Inter pair Stefan de Vrij and Milan Skriniar noted as well as Napoli ace Kalidou Koulibaly.
Firstly, it remains to be seen if Umtiti can put this latest setback behind him and emerge as a reliable, consistent figure in the squad in the months ahead to prove to Barcelona that he can play a prominent role moving forward still.
If he fails to do so though, based on the report above, he could be at risk of either being replaced altogether or falling further down the pecking order at the Nou Camp, with the Catalan giants needing more quality depth to compete on multiple fronts.
It would undoubtedly be a huge shame if injury ultimately spoils Umtiti’s spell with the Catalan giants, but given his troubles date back to last year, it’s fair to say that Barcelona have certainly been patient to this point but will need to act eventually in order to also identify a long-term replacement for Gerard Pique too.
The Barca stalwart turns 33 next year, and while Clement Lenglet has cemented his place in the XI, another top player may well be needed.