have terminated Samuel Umtiti’s contract three years before its expiry date after a long period of unrest. 

The 2018 World Cup winner, 29, spent last season on loan at Lecce, who finished 16th in .

With Barcelona looking to reduce their wage bill to make room for incomings, the move to sever ties with a fringe player appears financially motivated. 

It has been a frustrating few years for the centre-back, who has been dogged by injuries and inconsistency, only making 50 appearances for Blaugrana since 2018.

The Spanish giants spent lots of last summer trying to move on the centre-back, but he even failed a medical with Rennes before going to Lecce.

Barcelona have severed ties with Samuel Umtiti three years before his contract's expiry date

Barcelona have severed ties with Samuel Umtiti three years before his contract’s expiry date

The centre-back spent last season on loan at Lecce in Serie A, where he made 25 appearances

The centre-back spent last season on loan at Lecce in Serie A, where he made 25 appearances

In his prime, Umtiti was a fierce opponent to be reckoned with. 

After signing from Lyon in 2016, his first two seasons at Barca alongside Gerard Pique were formidable, ข่าวหวย and . 

During his time at Lecce, .  

A largely injury-free stint at the Stadio Via del mare, where he made 25 appearances, has helped, but not enough to propel him back to a starting berth at Barcelona with Eric Garcia, Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen, and likely Inigo Martinez fighting for minutes next season. 

, who spent this year with Tottenham.

Barca manager Xavi has many defensive options and Umtiti has fallen down the pecking order

Barca manager Xavi has many defensive options and Umtiti has fallen down the pecking order

In a lengthy statement, Los Cules said: ‘FC Barcelona and defender Samuel Umtiti have reached an agreement to release the player from the contract binding him to the club until the end of the 2025/26 season.

‘FC Barcelona wishes to express its gratitude to Umtiti and wishes him every fortune and success in the future.

‘Umtiti has enjoyed an injury-free season in Italy, where he seems to have rediscovered his best level in every regard. After a stop-start final period at Barça, frustrated by a series of fitness issues, he has played 25 games for Lecce.

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‘He came to Barcelona in 2016 from Olympique Lyon, where he had spent his whole career until then. In his finest years, he and Gerard Piqué formed a fabulous pairing in the middle of the blaugrana defence, and were both automatic starters.

‘After becoming a world champion with France in 2018, injuries started to interrupt his wonderful progress. He was no longer such a regular feature on the field, and he eventually left for Italy to get more game time.

‘With two league titles and three cups, Samuel Umtiti is now severing ties completely with Barça, but will be taking away memories as fond as those that the club will have of him.’