Barcelona responsible for wages as Umtiti makes move to Lecce

By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor

French defender Samuel Umtiti has been given the nod by Barcelona to discuss with Serie A side Lecce to process a transfer for the season, a report claims.

The 28-year-old, who receives circa €20m per season, joined Barcelona in 2016 from Olympique Lyon and has scored 2 goals in 133 appearances for the Catalans.

Reports have it that despite the Catalans itching towards cutting down their wage bill to have the leverage to register players for La Liga, Umtiti’s move will have no effect as the Spanish club will be responsible for upsetting his wages even while at Lecce.

The report added that the Serie A club’s only commitment in the deal would be performance-related bonuses in the existing contract.

Giallorossi have already started the negotiations with the player’s representative on personal terms while Umtiti will fly to Italy for further discussions.

Meanwhile, Lecce President Saverio Sticchi Damiani, on Sunday, disclosed that the club have been courting Umtiti for quite a long time before triggering a formal negotiation with Barcelona.

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Although Damiani added the deal is far from being concluded, Diario Sports on Monday opined that Umtiti could be in Lecce on Tuesday to finalise the deal.

“We have been evaluating the signing of Umtiti for a long time. There is a negotiation with Barcelona, but there are lots to speak about still. The operation is a long way from being formalised,” said Lecce President.

Lecce look to include the defender to its squad after sustaining two defeats in the Serie A season from Inter Milan and Sassuolo to wallow in 19th place in the Italian top division log.

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