Umtiti aims to keep improving to live out his dream at Barca
FRANCE international Samuel Umtiti has completed a “dream move” to Barcelona knowing he is not guaranteed a first-team place, but says he is willing to learn to prove his potential.
The 22-year-old centre-back, who had a fine season with Olympique Lyonnais, earned his first France cap in their 5-2 Euro 2016 quarter-final triumph over Iceland.
He has signed a five-year contract with Barca following his 25 million euros move from Lyon and his buy-out clause has been set at 60 million euros.
“I’m thrilled and very moved to be here,” Umtiti said at his official unveiling yesterday. “This is a dream come true... Barca was the club of my dreams.
“I like Barcelona’s mentality and their style of play. I hope I can adapt rapidly to the team and I will do everything possible to prove that I can be a part of this family.
“There are great players at this club and I can’t wait to play with them.”
Umtiti is the second French international to join the Spanish champions this week after defender Lucas Digne arrived from Paris Saint-Germain on a five-year deal.
Umtiti accepts that he faces stiff competition for a starting place.
“I’ve come here to progress with players that have a lot of experience and from whom I will be able to learn,” he said. “There are great players in my position but I’m competitive and I want to play, although the important thing is that I learn.
“I managed to play at the European Championship but it’s not enough. I need to keep proving my potential to return to the national team.”
Barca beat several top Pre- mier League clubs to Umtiti’s signature.
“We followed him last season and we really liked him,” Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez said. “It was not an easy negotiation as there were English clubs interested in him.
“Umtiti is a young player, who can play in different positions and despite being leftfooted, he has proved he can play on the right.” – Reuters