Samuel Umtiti is wanted by Benfica on loan from Barcelona, according to reports. The loan deal would be completed during the January transfer window.

According to Portuguese journalist Pedro Almeida, Benfica is interested in signing Samuel Umtiti on a short-term loan during the January transfer window. When the two sides meet in the UEFA Champions League later this month, the Portuguese giants might have discussions with Barcelona about the possibility of completing a temporary transfer.

Having joined Barcelona from Lyon in the summer of 2016, Samuel Umtiti made an immediate impact at Camp Nou, sparking speculation over whether he may be the long-term replacement to Carles Puyol. However, after a promising start to his career at the Catalan club, the Frenchman has seen his fortunes plummet by a stunning margin.

Umtiti’s career of late has been plagued by injuries

A string of injuries has severely impeded his development. Samuel Umtiti is now just an emergency option for Barcelona. Despite having yet to make a single game for Barcelona this season, the 27-year-old has been judged surplus to requirements at the Camp Nou. Benfica is now preparing to provide Umtiti with an exit strategy from his ongoing battles with the Blaugrana.

The Portuguese giants have been compelled to enter the transfer market in search of a centre-back. The reason for this is that important defender Lucas Verissimo has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a long-term knee injury on Sunday.

It is expected that the Brazilian centre back will need surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee before beginning the long road to rehabilitation. Consequently, Benfica will be forced to enter the transfer market in January, with Barcelona misfit Samuel Umtiti surfacing as a potential target.

Benfica’s interest in Samuel Umtiti is more than serious

Although Benfica is interested in signing the 27-year-old, he has lately said that he is motivated to succeed at FC Barcelona, so signing him this winter may not be a simple assignment. Despite this, the Portuguese giants are expected to make their first proposal for a loan transfer later this month, when they face Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League final.

Barcelona is unlikely to be reluctant in their dealings with Benfica, since a successful term in Lisbon may help them recoup a significant amount from the sale of Umtiti the following season. Consequently, it remains to be seen if the French defender will join Estadio da Luz on loan in January or whether he will remain at Camp Nou.

In spite of the recent arrival of Xavi as a coach, Umtiti is still hoping to fight his way back into the Barcelona starting lineup. He sees the new coach as an opportunity to start over from the beginning. It’s unclear whether or not he’ll be persuaded to leave for betterment in the future.

So, what is Samuel Umtiti finally going to do?

Umtiti has had a difficult season, and things have only gotten worse since Lionel Messi left the club in the summer. He was one of the players pointed out as being guilty due to the fact that he was paid a large salary. During the Joan Gamper match versus Juventus, he received a barrage of boos.

As a result, the Frenchman was forced to leave the field as soon as the final whistle sounded. Since then, he has not participated in any games.

Samuel Umtiti himself will be a stumbling block in the event of a probable operation. He has made it clear that he intends to compete for a place in the Barcelona squad. He most likely views Xavi’s appointment as an opportunity to finally show himself to the world.