Barcelona star Samuel Umtiti has claimed that he cried during a meeting with the club president Joan Laporta in an emotional conversation as the Spanish club offered to let him leave for free during the summer. Umtiti has failed to establish himself at the club following a knee injury in 2018.
Samuel Umtiti arrived at Barcelona from Lyon in the summer of 2016 for a fee of €25 million and the Frenchman quickly went on to assert his quality at the club, establishing himself firmly as first-choice in the central defensive partnership alongside Gerard Pique. The 27-year-old has gone on to make 132 appearances for the Catalan club and his good form for Barcelona in his first two seasons at the club saw the Spanish side to renew the French international's contract with a new five-year contract in 2018.
However, things haven't been the same for Umtiti as he picked up a knee injury in 2018 which could have been treated with surgery but the 27-year-old chose to undergo conservative treatment in order to play in the 2018 World Cup. Umtiti proceeded to win the World Cup with France that summer but his decision resulted in not featuring for the Spanish giants in the following season due to injury. This has seen him forced out of Ronald Koeman's plans with the Frenchman struggling for form.
That combined with Barcelona's financial difficulties over the summer resulted in a proposal where the Frenchman was offered to be released from his contract but Umtiti refused and aims to come back better than ever and help the team in the current campaign.
“It was a very important conversation for me. I needed to get things off my chest and for him to know that I am in good shape and that I want to help the team. I cried in the meeting. We spoke about some difficult issues; it was quite intense. I don't speak much, but if I do tell you something, it comes from the heart. There are six centre-backs and I knew it would be hard to get minutes, but that's how I am. If something is in my head, and I am sure I am good enough, I am going to try and prove it,” Umtiti told Mundo Deportivo.
"I am in good shape, I just lack games, better shape than when I signed. Everything has changed since then: the training, my diet. I am stronger and quicker than before. I don't see myself playing for another club, impossible. Right now, I am very clear on that. Football is my life, Barcelona is my life. I see myself here. I want to be a success here," he added.