The French centre-back hasn’t featured for the Blaugrana so far this season, but has been working on hard on resolving the issue he’s had with his left knee through an intensive rehabilitation process.
Umtiti has worked at the Ciutat Esportiva and at home with specific machines designed to reinforce his knee.
His progress was setback when he contracted COVID-19 in the summer, but since September he has worked assiduously to return to his best.
He turned down offers from Italy and France during the summer and is intent on making a success of his Barcelona career.
Umtiti signed a contract extension until 2023 in 2018, with a release clause set at €500m.
Manchester United had been heavily interested in him at the time, and shortly after the deal was signed he won the World Cup with France.
His knee has been a persistent problem since then, however, but Barcelona have never pressured his camp to make a decision on whether the player should pursue conservative treatment or surgery.
Umtiti has lived in frustration in recent months, but is said to be of strong character. Koeman is said to have a good relationship with him and to be in constant communication about his progress.
Should he make it back in a fortnight as Koeman suggested, it will be the last chance for a footballer whose career has been so stagnated by injury.
At 27, he’s now at a key point. He still has years of good football ahead of him, but the next few months could tell a lot in whether he’d be better of staying in Catalonia or beginning a new chapter elsewhere.
Featured image courtesy of Goal.