Newcastles hopes of signing Samuel Umtiti boosted as star accepts Barcelona departure

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Newcastle United’s chances of signing Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti in the January transfer window have received a timely boost. The Magpies are desperate for reinforcements this month and could land Umtiti after the centre-back reportedly accepted Barca’s proposal to send him out on loan until the end of the season.

Newcastle are 19th in the Premier League table, having won just one of their 19 matches so far this season.

Eddie Howe’s side have conceded 42 goals so far this season, the joint-worst record alongside bottom club Norwich, and have kept just one clean sheet.

Defence is therefore a priority in the January transfer window, with majority owners the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund ready to splash the cash on new additions.

While the arrival of right-back Kieran Trippier is expected to be finalised this week after Atletico Madrid agreed to a £12m transfer fee, as per BBC Sport, further players are required.

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According to The Sun, Newcastle are willing to pay £17million for Umtiti, who is not wanted by Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez.

Barca are keen to offload Umtiti, who earns a whopping £220,000 per week, in order to ease their well-publicized financial problems and make space in the wage bill for new arrival Ferran Torres.

Mundo Deportivo reports that Umtiti has finally given in to their proposal because he wants regular game time in order to try and get into the France squad for the 2022 World Cup.

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The 28-year-old defender is under contract with Barca until June 2023, but is expected to leave the club on loan until the end of the season, provided the Spanish giants can find a club willing to pay his wages.

This news will come as a relief to Barcelona, with the centre-back previously resisting their efforts to push him out of the door.

Spanish news outlet Sport recently reported that Umitti had turned down a move to Turkish side Fenerbahce to reach five separate rejections.

Barcelona signed Umtiti from Lyon in July 2016 and he has gone on to make 133 appearances for the club and helped to win two La Liga titles.

However, the French World Cup winner has only made 41 appearances over the past three seasons.

Umtiti is far from the only defender Newcastle have been linked with recently.

Lille’s Sven Botman, Liverpool’s Nat Phillips, Burnley’s James Tarkowski, Sevilla’s Diego Carlos and Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly have all mentioned in reports.

The Athletic have reported that, as well as Trippier, Newcastle want to sign two centre-backs, a midfielder, a striker and a left-back this month.

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