Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has revealed that informal talks took place with Lyon during the transfer window regarding a potential move. However, he insisted that he can’t imagine leaving Camp Nou.
Umtiti – who has had an incredibly unfortunate time with injuries – was one of many players linked with a move away from Barça during the transfer window. However, no move ever materialised and the World Cup winner stayed put.
The 26-year-old has not yet featured this season under Ronald Koeman as he continues to try and regain full match sharpness.
Manchester United and Arsenal were among five clubs who were said to be interested in the central defender, with Umtiti expected to be one of the players to leave as part of a Barça clear-out.
Now reflecting on the recent window, the Frenchman has revealed that he and his representatives actually held informal talks with former club Lyon. Ultimately, however, he cannot see himself playing for any another club but Barcelona.
“Lyon is my club, my city,” Umtiti told Canal Football Club. “They were the team that gave me the chance to play in Europe, at Barça and for the national team. There were conversations with Lyon this summer, but there was nothing concrete.
“I don’t see myself at any club other than Barcelona. I’ve been pretty clear about that with everyone.”
The defender further revealed that he recently became a vegan and is hoping that this change in diet will help him maintain fitness and rediscover his best form. Umtiti claims he is already feeling the benefits and has never felt in better condition physically.
“I have become vegan, I do not eat meat, nor fish. I really pay attention to all that. All the vegetable proteins, which do me good. Pasta, I don’t eat that anymore. My body feels a lot better. I have lost three kilograms, I needed to.
“I have never felt so good physically. I have cut and gained in muscle at the same time, I have never worked this much, never down to the minutiae of each detail. I think that this will make the difference.”
Umtiti will be hoping to reclaim a starting spot once he returns and help Barcelona climb the table. La Blaugrana are currently sat 12th in La Liga, with just seven points from their opening five games. Most recently, Koeman’s men fell to a 3-1 defeat in the Clasico.