Barcelona postpone decision for loanee centre-back, return difficult right now
According to Mundo Deportivo, Lecce are considering keeping Barcelona loanee Samuel Umtiti at the club beyond the ongoing campaign. However, Barça as well as the defender have postponed taking a final decision on the matter for now.
Umtiti left Barcelona last summer, joining the Italian minnows on loan. After a slow start, the Frenchman has gradually grown in stature at Lecce, becoming a mainstay at the heart of the defence.
The former Olympique Lyon ace has put in several solid performances and has not had injury/fitness concerns pop up either.
Naturally, Lecce have been impressed with what they have seen from Umtiti and are open to the idea of keeping him at the club beyond this summer, although it is unclear if it would be on another loan spell or a permanent transfer.
Pantaleo Corvino, their sporting director, has gone so far as to publicly state that they are waiting to receive approval from Barça as well Umtiti on the matter.
However, as things stand, neither Barcelona nor Umtiti are thinking about making a decision, as the latter feels it is too early to take a call on what his next move will be.
What both parties seem to agree upon is that it will be extremely difficult for Umtiti to return to Barcelona and become a part of the first-team setup again.
The Catalans have a well-rounded defensive unit as things stand and they are poised to add Inigo Martinez to the roster as well. So, Umtiti’s return to the club is a no-go.
However, while the player realises that, he and his camp wish to wait and see if any better offers come for him at the end of the season, possibly even a club with European football. Hence, he is postponing the decision on committing to Lecce beyond the ongoing campaign.
Such a scenario would also mean that Barcelona would stand better chances of gaining financially. So, it is understandable that neither the club nor the player are looking to rush into any sort of decision.
What is important is that Umtiti continues to remain injury-free and performing the way he has been.