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Official: Samuel Umtiti joins Lecce on a season-long loan



Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona have officially confirmed that defender Samuel Umtiti will join Serie A side Lecce on loan for the rest of the 2022/23 season.

The 28-year-old has been at the club since 2016 when he joined from Olympique Lyon. However, he has been struggling for relevance at Camp Nou for the latter half of his stint, having fallen well down the pecking order.

Umtiti played just one time throughout the 2021/22 season after convincing president Joan Laporta to not sell him the summer window last year.

With Barça bringing in Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen, the French international fell further out of reckoning and accepted his fate that the time was right for him to move on.

Umtiti was left behind from Barcelona’s pre-season tour to the US to sort his future out. A move to Rennes looked likely but ended up falling through due to unknown reasons.

However, the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner has now found a new club for himself as he gets set for a loan stint in Italy with Lecce.

The two clubs have reached an agreement on the deal, with the defender now set to link up with the newly-promoted Serie A outfit.

While it had been initially reported that Barcelona would be covering Umtiti’s entire wages, they have managed to convince Lecce to pay a small part of his salary. In addition to that, the Catalans will receive bonus payments associated with the number of appearances that the defender makes.

It is a dry loan deal with no option or obligation for purchase, meaning Umtiti will be back at Camp Nou next summer once his loan agreement expires.

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