Rennes to keep Umtiti deal "on hold"
Rennes sporting director has not ruled out Barça's French center back
Rennes sporting director Florian Maurice reviewed his team's transfer market and, in statements published by L'Équipe, stated that "the Umtiti signing folder is on hold", although he hinted that his interests might yet be moving away from the FC Barcelona center-back. At the presentation of Steve Mandanda, which took place on Monday, Maurice said that Samuel Umtiti's portfolio was "frozen" due to the club's reservations over the French international's physical fitness.
Umtiti's arrival had been planned in the form of a loan deal. Maurice had commented that "there is no disagreement", although he noted that "we may not agree on certain issues, but the exchange has always been the same with Bruno Genesio -the team's coach- and we have known each other long enough to be able to exchange opinions calmly. Umtiti's file is on hold and, now we are working on other solutions". With their first friendly of the preseason scheduled on Saturday against Freiburg, Rennes would be in a hurry to go through their options and close their signings.
The French team is reportedly close to signing South Korean Kim Min-jae (Fenerbahce) and has also initiated negotiations with Benfica for the Brazilian player Morato. "When we work, I try to move forward calmly, even if it is a position that needs strengthening," Maurice added. "We are moving forward as methodically as possible to finalize the composition of the team as quickly as possible. I don't just work on two, three or four folders, but on ten, because you never know what can happen," Maurice concluded.
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