Barcelona have confirmed that centre-back Samuel Umtiti has been diagnosed with coronavirus, becoming the second of the club’s players to contract the virus in the last few days.
The club recently confirmed that a mystery player had been diagnosed with the virus, and it was later revealed that it was returning loanee Jean-Clair Todibo who had tested positive and entered a 14-day isolation period.
Umtiti has now entered his own self-isolation period, with Barcelona confirming on their official website that the Frenchman has shown no symptoms and is not feeling unwell.
The news came shortly before Barcelona’s Champions League quarter-final clash with Bayern Munich on Friday, sparking some panic on social media over whether the fixture needed to be postponed. Since Umtiti is not part of Barça’s European squad, and is not with the team, it doesn’t.
The Frenchman is nursing a knee injury which kept him out of Barcelona’s last five La Liga games and may also have seen him play his final game for the club.
His poor track record with injury has seen Barcelona make him available for transfer (again), although selling him might be easier said than done as Umtiti has made no secret of his desire to stay at Camp Nou.
Gerard Piqué and Clement Lenglet are expected to remain Barcelona’s first-choice partnership, with young Ronaldo Araújo taking up a more senior role in the squad, and Quique Setien is also hoping to add a new centre-back this summer.
At the top of his wish list is Manchester City’s Eric García, who has rejected a new contract at the Etihad Stadium and could be sold this summer after entering the final year of his current deal.
Should a move for García fail, Villarreal’s Pau Torres is understood to be on Barça’s radar, although his €40m release clause may well be too much for La Blaugrana to pay for a backup defender in the current climate.
As for Umtiti, the seemingly eternal links to the Premier League have resurfaced once more, while there have also been speculative rumours of a potential move to Bayern Munich in a swap deal for David Alaba.
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