Three key details from Samuel Umtiti’s potential move to Lecce
Samuel Umtiti is finally set to leave Barcelona after initially moving to the Catalan capital in 2016. He signed for €25 million, a fee that looked like a bargain after his first two seasons in the garnet and blue.
The 2017/18 season, especially, was superb for him. He was among the best centre-backs in Europe, leading Barcelona to a near-unbeaten season under Ernesto Valverde.
However, he picked up a knee injury during the later stages of the season, but refuses to get operated on as it would hamper his chances to get called up for the World Cup with the French national team.
He would end up both, applauding and regretting his decision. France won the World Cup that year, but Umtiti never broke through the Barça defence again. Recurring injuries continued to haunt him as his place was taken up by Clement Lenglet, and eventually others.
Now, after several failed transfers, he has the chance to resurrect his career, with a loan move to newly-promoted Serie A side Lecce in sight. According to COPE, these are the three key details surrounding the move:
1. Simple loan: Umtiti is moving away on a simple loan. His transfer will not include an option or obligation to purchase him from Lecce.
They will keep him for the entirety of the 2022/23 season, after which new negotiations must take place should they want to retain his services.
2. One-sided salary payment: Unlike most loans, Barcelona will have to bear the burden of Umtiti’s wages, quoted at €20 million gross by COPE. His high salary is too much for the Italian outfit, who are already taking a huge risk by acquiring him in the first place.
3. Playing-time-related bonuses: If Umtiti gets the playing time he is so desperately looking for, Lecce are willing to include bonuses in his contract. The more he plays, the more money Barcelona get. It will be significantly less, though.