Umtiti's knee injury could see Barcelona sign a defender in January
Depending on how Samuel Umtiti recovers from his knee injury, Barcelona might be look to sign a defensive replacement in the winter transer market.
Samuel Umtiti has recovered from his recent knee injury. Last week, the French defender returned to training but the club are waiting to see how his knee holds up to the highest level of competition. AS understands that they are considering signing a central defender in the winter transfer market if the recovery of Umtiti's knee is not as desired.
The defender says he is fully recovered and is capable of taking on the tasks ahead of him. He came off the bench on Saturday to warm up having been included in the squad for the first time since the knee problem but with Real Betis always leading, Valverde saw it as impossible to ease Umtiti back into action and instead opted to make attacking changes. Instead, Umtiti could return against Atlético Madrid at the Wanda on the 24th of November.
Barcelona's option for winter transfer market
For quite some now at the Camp Nou, they have been contemplating central defenders such as Getafe's Djené Dakoman. Branislav Ivanovic is another name that has been thrown around but it is not an option that is unanimously accepted.
Barcelona are keen not to spend too much now if they can avoid it and instead wait until the summer to ensure whoever they sign can settle in. Matthijs de Ligt is the ultimate desire with Frenkie de Jong also being considered.
What is clear is that Vermaelen will not be renewed by Barca. Valverde thinks highly of the Belgian and his professionalism is truly appreciated in the dressing room but injuries have set him back and he will look for a new team in the future as Barcelona look to reshapre their defensive options.