Newcastle United are making progress in their talks with Barcelona for the loan transfer of defender Samuel Umtiti after deciding to make the La Liga side an offer, according to Sport.
The Magpies and Blaugrana have been negotiating the Frenchman’s situation for a number of weeks. Barcelona are desperate to offload the centre-back in the mid-season market to remove his lucrative salary from their wage bill and clear funds to register Ferran Torres.
Manchester City agreed to sell Torres to the Camp Nou natives for £46.5m last month, but Barcelona cannot register him. They do not have the capacity to stay within La Liga rules.
Barcelona are now urging Umtiti and his representatives to leave with the full weight of the club. They hope he accepts any offer that hits the table in January, having only played once so far this season. He made his only outing during a 2-2 draw at Osasuna on December 12.
Umtiti has been reluctant to leave Catalunya in the hope that a Champions League or title-contending side bids for him. But elite clubs have not yet shown an interest, with Barcelona still waiting to hear back from some they contacted.
Newcastle, however, are keen on Umtiti and are now ready to make Barcelona an offer for his transfer this month. The Toon have held successful talks with the Blaugrana and will put an offer on the table if the 28-year-old also shows an interest in moving to St James’ Park.
Newcastle ready Umtiti offer after transfer talks with Barcelona
Newcastle want to sign Umtiti on loan from Barcelona until the summer, with an option for a permanent transfer. The deal is unlikely to include any obligations, and may see the Toon only pay half of his £220k-a-week wage.
Barcelona are open to Umtiti leaving on loan to save on his salary, especially given his lack of game time. While Newcastle will hope the 2018 World Cup winner helps improve their Premier League survival aspirations and woeful defensive record.
No side has allowed more goals than United (42) so far this season. Only Norwich also have a worse goal difference (minus-34) than the Toon (-23) via their nine fewer goals scored.
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