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French club want Barcelona defender to terminate contract and join for free, contacts made



Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona may have found a way to get rid of out-of-favour defender Samuel Umtiti in the summer transfer window, with French club OGC Nice emerging as a potential destination.

As reported by Le Quotidien du Sport (h/t SPORT), Nice are interested in signing Umtiti from Barcelona in the upcoming transfer window. However, they would only consider a move if the Frenchman terminates his contract with the Catalans and becomes available for free.

Umtiti has been out of favour at Camp Nou for the last couple of seasons. With Barça eyeing more defensive reinforcements, the 28-year-old’s prospects will only get worse from here on.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner played just once all season in 2021/22 and struggled with injuries for the most part of the campaign. Given his situation, an exit would be the best possible solution for all parties involved.

And Nice are ready to provide Umtiti with an escape route from Camp Nou. To that end, they have established contact with the defender’s entourage to inform them of their interest and ask them to negotiate with Barcelona over giving the 28-year-old a letter of freedom.

If he becomes available for free, the Ligue 1 outfit would be willing to offer the centre-half a contract with fixed and variable components containing performance-related bonuses, keeping in mind his physical problems.

Barcelona, for their part, are desperate to get Umtiti off their books as they look to clear out his salary from the wage bill. And they would be open to any sort of arrangement as long as they can make room on their payroll by offloading the 28-year-old defender.

Ideally, Barça would prefer selling Umtiti outright, but would be open to a loan exit as well. It, however, remains to be seen whether they would terminate his contract and let him leave for free.

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