UPDATE 1-Orcel open to drop part of claim against Santander if becomes Unicredit CEO, source says

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MADRID, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Italian banker Andrea Orcel is open to negotiating a deal with Santander over the bank’s withdrawal of an offer to make him CEO, including by lowering his compensation claim from 112 million euros to around 60 million euros, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

“If Orcel were to be appointed CEO of Unicredit, the part of the lawsuit seeking contract fulfilment would have to be withdrawn,” a source with knowledge of the matter said, adding that everything was still open.

According to two sources, UniCredit’s board will designate Andrea Orcel as the bank’s new chief executive on Wednesday, paving the way for his appointment in April.

Santander declined to comment, while Orcel’s spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

The source however said Orcel would still argue in the trial, scheduled for March 10, that the offer letter written by Santander in September of 2018 was legally binding as a contract.

The head of investment banking at Swiss bank UBS from 2012 to 2018, Orcel was due to crown his dream of becoming a banking chief executive by taking the helm at Santander.

But the Spanish lender withdrew its offer after disagreements over Orcel’s compensation, leaving him unemployed and prompting the Italian to file a 112 million euro lawsuit.

On Wednesday, the source said that Orcel would still claim 17 million euros of a bonus and “up to 35” million euros of a 55 million euro compensation package that he was due to receive in future years from his employer at the time, UBS, and around two years’ fixed salary at Santander, estimated at around 10 million euros. (Reporting by Jesús Aguado; additional reporting by Emma Pinedo and Pamela Barbaglia; editing by Ingrid Melander)