Juventus Set To Sign Samuel Umtiti, Will Open The Door For De Ligt To Join Barcelona
Samuel Umtiti could be on the verge of leaving Barcelona at the end of the season after it has been reported that Juventus have reached an agreement to sign the player.
Diario AS reports that the Spanish club are ready to allow the highly rated 25-year-old centre-back to move to Turin in order to open the door for Matthijs de Ligt to arrive at the Camp Nou ahead of the following season.
Umtiti, who has also been linked with a move to Manchester United and Arsenal, has missed four months' worth of football this season due to injury, with Transfermarkt showing that he has not featured in 28 matches for Barcelona in that time.
While the World Cup winner has had a strong partnership with Gerard Piqué during his time at the club, the reigning La Liga champions are keen to bring in de Ligt as their new first-choice centre-back to pair alongside the ex-United player.
The sale of Umtiti would allow Barça to secure the funds needed for the Ajax star, but it would also mean that Juventus would end their pursuit of the 19-year-old defender.
Instead, the Old Lady would be more than happy to bring in the France international in de Ligt's place as it would help fill the void left behind by Andrea Barzagli.
The 37-year-old Italian centre-back announced after Juventus' 2-1 defeat to SPAL on Saturday that he would be retiring at the end of the season.
"I thought about it long and hard, but this is the right moment to retire at the end of the season," he told Sky Sport Italia.
"Considering my age and all the injuries I've had to deal with, I'm going to hang up my boots in June.
"I am starting the process of figuring out what to do afterwards, because I've dreamed of being a player since I was a little boy and now I have to consider what comes next."
De Ligt has had the spotlight placed on him in recent months, following a stellar season with Ajax and being heavily linked with a move to Barcelona.
It would seem all but certain that the Ajax captain would be leaving the club in the summer after head coach Erik ten Hag admitted there was little chance that de Ligt would stay beyond the end of the season.
"There's zero chance Matthijs de Ligt is staying at Ajax. There are so many clubs interested in him," he told Süddeutsche Zeitung.
"He will leave us this summer, but I don't know whether he'll join Bayern [Munich] or Barcelona."
Barcelona are the frontrunners to sign de Ligt, especially with Ajax teammate Frenkie de Jong signing for the club in January for a reported fee of £65m.
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