Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has officially been loaned out to Italian Serie A club Lecce until June 2023.
It is official. Umtiti will finally make his way out of the Camp Nou after the club reached an agreement with U.S. Lecce to loan out the French centre-back to the Italian side until 2023. Umtiti, who last played a significant role for Los Cules in 2018, will finally depart the club after years of refusing to leave Barcelona despite not being included in the club’s plans. Xavi made it clear to the French International that he would again not have an important role, and a deal has been reached for Umtiti to depart until next summer without an option to remain in Italy.
At age 28, the 2018 World Cup winner was signed from Olympique Lyon in 2016 in exchange for 25 million euros. Since then, ‘Big Sam‘ has played 133 games for the club and was an essential piece in Ernesto Valverde’s years at the Camp Nou. However, injuries played a significant role in Umtiti’s career and have certainly prevented Barca from selling the defender for a good amount of money. Nevertheless, Umtiti is still under contract until 2026 despite his move to Lecce for the season.
Samuel Umtiti’s loan deal is only a minor financial relief for Barcelona, as the player’s high salary was reduced when he agreed to extend his contract last season to allow the club to register Ferran Torres in January. According to Marca, Barca and Lecce will split the players’ registration fee, and the Catalan side will receive bonuses for games played.
Umtiti’s departure joins Lenglet’s as another defender who leaves the Camp Nou on loan for the season. Barcelona has gotten rid of the overload of centre-backs and will hope that this deal, alongside future sales for Aubameyang and Memphis Depay, will help Los Blaugranas strengthen the right-back position and register Jules Kounde.