Robert admits he was impressed by Umtiti's character and maturity.
He said: “The club had information on him for some time, from when he was playing youth team football.
“All players progress, others well, others not so well. [Umtiti] was growing [quickly] and appeared in the first team at Lyon. We knew for a while he could be a good player."
Robert continued: “I travelled to Lyon a lot and to other cities in France to watch him live.
“He passed all the tests and we began to look for information to find out what his character was like. From there, the idea became much clearer.
“We found a young player, but a mature one with a good personality. And that's what he's shown us since he arrived at Barcelona.
“He has a maturity which is not always common. That he started games for France, leaving [Adil] Rami behind, being put in in important matches… It's not easy and even less so in such a concrete position.
“His words were 'If I leave Lyon, it's only to go to Barcelona.'"