Samuel Umtiti returns to Barcelona training

Samuel Umtiti has returned to Barcelona training following an injury layoff and has dissuaded the club from investing in the defence this January, say reports.

There were fears that the France international would need to undergo knee surgery on his issue and such an operation would likely rule him out for several more months.

However, Diario Sport say the situation has improved notably in recent days and the central defender has begun to return to normal first-team training.

This is likely to have a knock-on effect for the club’s approach to the January transfer window, when it was rumoured they would likely invest in central defence.

Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet have formed a partnership in recent weeks with Thomas Vermaelen and Umtiti unavailable through injury.

Barca have been heavily linked with a move for Ajax’s teenage defender Matthijs de Ligt but this is extremely unlikely to come to fruition before next summer, at the earliest.

Umtiti is unlikely to return to first-team action for Barca until after the international break.

Tags Samuel Umtiti