Xavi doesn’t see the centre-back as playing much of a role in his Barcelona, and knows that securing his departure is key if the Blaugrana are to recruit new players this January.
Newcastle, newly-minted due to investment by a fund linked to Saudi Arabia, have emerged as the leading candidate to secure his signature according to a report in Diario AS.
The English side are willing to pay Barcelona €20m to sign Umtiti, something the Catalan club would be very open to facilitating. His contract at Camp Nou is set to run until the summer of 2023.
Umtiti has played just 90 minutes of football all season, during a dramatic 2-2 draw with Osasuna at El Sadar on December 12th.
Newcastle are keen to strengthen a leaky defence. They’ve conceded 42 goals so far this season and sit 19th in the Premier League with just eleven points to their name from 19 games.