Rennes are set to rule out the signing of Samuel Umtiti. The doubts about his fitness, expressed by the club’s coach, Bruno Genesio, coupled with another opportunity that has come up have counted against the Barcelona defender.
Brazilian defender Felipe Rodrigues da Silva, better known as Morato, has emerged as Rennes’ top target to replace Nayef Aguerd, who joined West Ham United this summer for €35 million.
Benfica centre-back Morato will join Rennes in a deal worth around €10m.
Umtiti looked set to be Aguerd’s replacement. He even travelled to France to finalise a loan move. But Rennes decided to opt for Morato at the last minute after agreeing a fee with Benfica.
Rennes is not the first train that Umtiti has missed. The French center-back was very close to Fiorentina, too. But the operation fell due to economic issues. The Italian club could not afford the player’s salary.
Umtiti wanted to return to his homeland with Rennes. But now it looks like he will have to look for a new destination.