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Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has been accused of sending Samuel Umtiti out to warm up for the sole purpose of getting him booed by fans.
It's been a rough summer for Barcelona, with the departure of the club's all time leading goal scorer Lionel Messi proving just how bad their financial situation is.
It took Gerard Pique agreeing to lower his wages in order for new signings Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia to be registered in time for the start of the season.
Other players have also been urged to take pay cuts, with Jordi Alba's reluctance to do so annoying some at the club, and Barca have tried to get some of their unwanted players off the books.
That has proved tricky in some cases and so far Umtiti is amongst those who don't want to leave the Nou Camp, despite being told by Koeman he is not in the manager's plans.
On Sunday, during Barca's 2-1 win over Getafe, the centre back was told to warm up in the second half and was roundly booed by fans. Breaking the Lines creator, and writer, Zach Lowry, accused the Dutchman of purposely getting Umtiti a negative reaction.
Ronald Koeman sent Samuel Umtiti to warm up yesterday but did not play him against Getafe.— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) August 30, 2021
The sole purpose: for the Camp Nou to boo Umtiti and persuade him to leave the club in the final days of the transfer window. pic.twitter.com/9tdvsFLnnr
Koeman has a track record of humiliating his players that don’t want to leave and he clearly wasn’t going to play him. You don’t have to be a genius to see what he was trying to do— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) August 30, 2021
Koeman has stated repeatedly that Umtiti is not in his plans and he knew that Umtiti would receive a chorus of boos if he warmed up. It’s not bold if you’ve actually been paying attention— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) August 30, 2021
Whether you agree with it or not, you’d have to be living under a rock to think that Koeman didn’t know what would happen. Umtiti was booed every time he touched the ball vs Juventus and Koeman has stated repeatedly that he isn’t in his plans and wants him to leave— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) August 30, 2021
The treatment of the 27-year-old is extremely harsh by the fans, it's not his fault that the club are in financial disarray and he has no obligation to lower his wages.
Their anger should really be towards the club, and they clearly are still annoyed that Messi has had to leave.
If the claims that Koeman would send Umtiti out just to try and force him to leave the club seem strong, then it's worth remembering the former Netherlands boss does have previous.
Former Everton striker Oumar Niasse has previously accused the 58-year-old of forcing him out of the club, when the pair were both at Goodison Park.
Niasse said that Koeman took away his squad number, forced him to eat away from the first team and didn't even give him a locker to put his things in.
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