Barcelona have confirmed that French defender Samuel Umtiti has left the club on loan for the upcoming season, joining Serie A side Lecce for the 22/23 campaign, as they look to balance their books ahead of the transfer window’s closure.
An official statement from the Camp Nou side confirmed that the French centre-back has made the switch ‘on a one-year deal with no purchase option for the Serie A club’, meaning that he will return to Catalonia next season, where he will still have three years left to run on the deal that he signed in January.
It is understood that Lecce will pay a small amount of his salary, while Barcelona will receive a bonus for every game that he plays for the Italian outfit.
More needs to be done, however, to be able to register Jules Kounde, who featured in the mid-season friendly against Manchester City but is yet to be registered to play La Liga football for the Blaugrana since his move from Sevilla last month.
Other signings, including Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Franck Kessie, have all been registered, and the Frenchman is the final man to be added to Xavi’s squad.
Aubameyang out, Depay to stay
It is looking increasingly likely that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be the man required to leave the Nou Camp this summer in order to allow the club to register Kounde, with Chelsea pushing for his signature.
So far, a deal has stalled, with both sides around 10m euros away in their valuation, but the Blues know that Barcelona need to sell before the transfer deadline. The Blaugrana, on the other hand, know that Chelsea’s poor start to the season has left them desperate for a striker.
Meanwhile, any move to Juventus for Memphis Depay appears dead in the water, with the Italian side now on the verge of completing a deal for Arkadiusz Milik rather than signing the Dutchman, whom Barcelona were willing to let leave for free.