Newcastle were reported to be interested in Lyon center-back Samuel Umtiti over the weekend and there seems to be some validation of that interest coming from his agent – Yannick Umtiti – who happens to be the brother of Samuel,
According to reports we have been watching the player all this season and certainly we were linked several times with the 22 year-old in last summer´s transfer window.
The interesting thing is that Samuel is playing well and partnering former Newcastle center-back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who was a complete bust when he signed for Newcastle three years ago from Montpellier, when we were also fighting relegation.
Samuel Umtiti – Lyon center-back
Lyon are playing well at the moment and are third top of the French League with 42 points, but that´s a massive 31 points behind PSG and 8 points behind second placed Monaco.
The French league is starting to look a bit like the Scottish Premier League – a one club league with PSG having won 23 of their 28 league games this year.
Yannick has confirmed Newcastle´s interest in his brother in France Foot 01:
“I was contacted in recent weeks by English agents who discussed Newcastle.”
“But honestly, not a single concrete offer has been made so far by an English club.”
“We would consider an offer from Newcastle and the interest of other clubs who will eventually position themselves in the summer.”
“But we prefer overwhelmingly the best footballing project, which today appears at least to me to be the one offered by Lyon.”
That last sentence is the standard response in that they are always happy where they are, but will still listen to offers from other clubs.
And players and agents alike are very well aware of the massive money being paid out to Premier League clubs over the next three years starting this summer – with the massive £8.3B TV rights deal.
One problem we have with Samuel is that he´s not particularly tall for a center-back at 5ft 11ins.
That´s the same height as Chancel Mbemba, so it would seem better if Newcastle brought in a much taller center-back to pair with Chancel for next season.
Samuel has played 160 times for Lyon since making his debut for them four years ago n a 3–1 win against Lyon Duchere in January of 2012.
He can also play at left back and that´s another position Newcastle will have to strengthen in the summer, but we will also have competition from bigger clubs for Samuel, with both Chelsea and Tottenham interested in the player.
It´s estimated that Samuel would cost around £10M and it does seem that we have already made contact about buying him without any bid having been made for him yet.
No bid will be made until we know which league we will be playing in next season and that may not be until the end of the season.