Newcastle United are now eyeing Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti as a potential alternative to Lille’s Sven Botman in this January transfer window.
Reports in recent days and weeks had suggested the Magpies were making a move for Botman, with claims that Eddie Howe’s side had even seen a sizeable bid for him turned down by the Ligue 1 champions.
Now, The Daily Mail have suggested that the Tyneside club have turned their attentions towards Barcelona’s Umtiti as the man to bolster their back-line.
The report adds that a loan deal is being discussed between the two clubs and that there will be no option to buy included, with the Frenchman keen to return to Spain at the end of the season
Whilst Umtiti’s injury record is certainly something to be concerned about, there’s no question that bringing him to St James’ Park would represent a significant upgrade on the players Newcastle already have at the club, not least Ciaran Clark.
The defender has won numerous trophies at club level with Barcelona, including two La Liga titles, two domestic cups, and another pair of super cups too – that’s not to mention the World Cup he helped win with France back in 2018.
The Barcelona man is also comfortably better on the ball too, boasting a far better passing accuracy at 88.1%, and completing far more of his attempted long balls too.