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Transfer News: Newcastle make Samuel Umtiti a prime target

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Newcastle United are ready to offer Barcelona up to £17m in January, according to Marca

What’s the latest Newcastle United transfer news?

With Newcastle struggling so much defensively this season, Eddie Howe is thought to have lined up the Frenchman as a mid-season target.

Booed by sections of the club’s support earlier this season amid reports suggesting he refused to take a wage cut amid Barca’s financial problems, the 2018 World Cup winner has only made one appearance in La Liga all season.

With that in mind, Newcastle are believed to be ready to offer him a lucrative exit strategy, having reportedly made him a prime target.

How good is Umtiti?

Clearly, it’s hard to make any definitive judgement this season, given how little he’s played.

Still, this is a man who partnered Gerard Pique in the backline during two-title winning campaigns at the Camp Nou, as well as playing a big role in his country’s World Cup victory three years ago. At his best, ESPN‘s Samuel Marsden praised the former Lyon man as having “the potential to not just keep improving, but who could lead their defence for the next five to 10 years.”

A left-footed central defender playing at a club renowned for their ability to build from the back, perhaps he could offer something Newcastle simply do not have. Indeed, as far back as September, The Athletic spoke of the need to bring in a ball-playing left-footer.

What has been said about Samuel Umiti?

Back in November, Spanish journalist Javi Miguel hinted that Xavi Hernandez had been pleasantly surprised by the 28-year-old in training.

“Xavi is more than satisfied with his training sessions and wants to give him a chance to see if he can recover the sensations that led him to be one of the best center-backs in the world,” he wrote in AS.

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