Samuel Umtiti joins Lille after Barcelona exit


France defender Samuel Umtiti has signed for French side Lille after being released from Barcelona.

The 29-year-old, who played for Lyon before moving to Barcelona, has signed a two-year deal with the Ligue 1 club.

The World Cup winner has struggled with injuries for the past four years and was loaned out to Lecce last season.

“Returning to France, logically I thought of Lyon but in the end I chose to go to a club that wanted me,” Umtiti said.

The centre-back began his career at Lyon’s youth academy and won the French Cup with the senior side in 2012.

Umtiti scored the winner against Belgium in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals but has not played for the French national team since 2019. He says he is motivated to return to the French backline.

“I have already tasted the France team, experienced exceptional moments, obviously these are things that I want to relive,” he said.

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