Nicolas Nkoulou
Nicolas Nkoulou was out of contract at Marseille. Getty

Lyon have confirmed the signing of Nicolas Nkoulou from Marseille, paving the way for Samuel Umtiti to join Barcelona. The La Liga giants are understood to be waiting for the end of Euro 2016 to announce the transfer of Umtiti, with the France international arriving as part of Luis Enrique's plans to bolster his back-line.

Valencia and Roma have both been linked with a move for Nkoulou in recent weeks, as the 26-year-old centre-back's contract was due to expire with Marseille at the end of June.

However, Lyon's outspoken president Jean-Michel Aulas revealed on Tuesday (28 June), in an interview with Canal+, that his team were on the verge of beating out other suitors for the Cameroon international, having already agreed personal terms.

Lyon have now announced the centre-back will be presented to the media on Wednesday, following the completion of a medical.

Spanish media has interpreted this as being the precursor to Umtiti's Nou Camp move. Nkoulou plays in the heart of defence and has a wealth of Ligue 1 experience, which would allow him to fill in for the potential departure of the Barcelona target.


Umititi has been seen as the most likely defensive signing for Barcelona in recent weeks, following reports of complications in deals for the likes of Paris Saint-Germain star Marquinhos and Athletic Club Bilbao's Aymeric Laporte.

The Lyon stalwart did little to dismiss speculation when interviewed at the French camp during Euro 2016, admitting every footballer would like to play for Barcelona.

Mundo Deportivo have suggested that Barcelona will pay around €32m (£26.5m, $35.4m) for the Umtiti's services, making him their first signing of the summer.