Thursday 26 April 2018

Umtiti completes €25m Barcelona switch

Umtiti at the Nou Camp. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Umtiti at the Nou Camp. Photo: AFP/Getty Images News desk

Samuel Umtiti has completed a €25m move to Barcelona from Lyon.

The 22-year-old centre-back, who earned his first full cap in France's 5-2 win over Iceland in the Euro quarter-finals, has signed a five-year contract, with his buy-out clause set at €60m.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will give a number of his key players time off to "regenerate" before the new season - even if it limits his options for the opening Premier League game against Liverpool.

While the likes of Theo Walcott, Per Mertesacker, Gabriel, Francis Coquelin and even Jack Wilshere have reported back for training, Wenger is determined to afford extra holidays to those who have endured a busy summer schedule.

Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey, German playmaker Mesut Ozil and French duo Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny have all been granted an additional break following a draining European Championship campaign.

It remains to be seen how long it will take Alexis Sanchez to recover from the ankle injury he sustained in helping Chile win the Copa America in the United States.

Marc Wilmots has left his post as Belgium coach after his bosses admitted "the intended goals had not been reached". The Red Devils lost 3-1 to Wales in the Euro quarter-finals.

Former AC Milan and Chelsea forward Andriy Shevchenko has been appointed the new head coach of Ukraine.

Barcelona and Real Madrid will face one another in the first Clasico of the new season at the Nou Camp on December 4, with the return LaLiga fixture to on April 23.

Reigning champions Barca will face Real Betis at home on the opening weekend of the season on August 20-21, while Real Madrid will kick off their campaign away to Real Sociedad.

Irish Independent

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