Over the last few weeks, Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move to sign FC Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti.
The Frenchman is playing wonderfully well for the Catalan side this term, proving to be a vital cog in their well-oiled machine. However, the Red Devils are seemingly keen on adding him to their ranks.
With that said, their chances at signing Umtiti have been dealt a big blow, with Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde coming out and claiming that he is ‘happy’ at the Camp Nou, before adding that he hopes he stays there for many years.
“My understanding is that he is happy here; we certainly are with him, and we hope that he stays here for many years.” Valverde told AS, translated by The Sun.
“I don’t have any kind of strategy to persuade him [to stay]. He’s been here for many years and knows how loved he is; he’ll make the decision he thinks is best, and we’ll respect it.”
This seems a clear message in my opinion. Barcelona wants to keep the defender, and Valverde clearly believes that will happen.
It’s a shame from our point of view, but at least this saga is over before it really got going, meaning United won’t linger on it, allowing them to swiftly move onto other transfer targets.
Personally, I’d love to see a centre-back with a tad more experience come in. Toby Alderweireld from Tottenham Hotspur perhaps? That’d be more than ideal.