FC Barcelona: Barça renews Umtiti downwards and registers Ferran Torres | sports


Umtiti, at the Joan Gamper Trophy.
Umtiti, at the Joan Gamper Trophy.PAU BARRENA (AFP)

Barcelona has extended Samuel Umtiti’s contract (28 years) until 2026. That is, it extends his relationship for three more years, which expired in 2023. The news is surprising if one takes into account that the central defender has only participated in one match of the 26 that the Barça team has played in the season (4%) and that Xavi, the coach, does not have him. However, the renewal of French has not been carried out in a sporting but economic way. After the departure of Coutinho to Aston Villa, Barça needed to continue reducing the salary mass to be able to register Ferran Torres, who arrived from Manchester City in exchange for 55 million euros, plus 10 in variables. And so he did. The club confirmed that, with this operation, the fair play financial and already has the approval of the Professional Football League to score his latest signing.

The renewal of Umtiti is a strategic move for Barcelona. For one thing, it has a financial argument. The French had to collect about 40 million gross euros (20 per season). The club can then prorate the expense over more years. In addition, Umtiti, as reported by Radio Barcelona, ​​is discounted 10% of the salary in the current campaign. This reduction, in any case, will be charged in the following courses.

Josep Maria Bartomeu’s board of directors had already carried out a similar operation when he renewed Piqué, De Jong, Ter Stegen and Lenglet in October 2020. “There were not many more alternatives,” they argue from the Barça club’s sports area. Barça also understands that, in this way, if Umtiti has a lower salary, it is easier for a club to be interested in his signing. “With the salary he had it was impossible,” explain the same sources. The most important argument for Barcelona, ​​in any case, was to ensure the registration of Ferran Torres, who did not enter the call to play the semifinal of the Spanish Super Cup against Madrid (he continues to be absent by Covid).

“What Samuel has done does not suppose any additional effort to the club,” they explain from the footballer’s environment. And they add that it is the third time that he has helped Barça after having participated in the March 2020 reduction and in the deferral of payments in November of the same year. The idea of ​​the player, however, passes through the game. “He would accept an exit, but he prefers a loan because he wants to show that he can play for Barcelona,” add the same sources.

The center-back arrived at the Camp Nou in 2016 in exchange for 25 million euros. Then, in the axis of the Barça defense, Piqué and Mascherano were in command. But the French made a place for himself. In his first campaign, he played 43 of Ernesto Valverde’s 59 Barça games (73%). Everything remained the same in his second year at the Camp Nou. Txingurri could not sign Íñigo Martínez so as not to move Mascherano further away from the eleven in the season prior to Russia 2018 and Umtiti remained firm with Piqué: 40 duels (68%).

On the eve of the World Cup, Barça feared that the central defender would be robbed (his clause was 60 million) and renewed him until 2023. They made him one of the centers with the best salary in the world. Below, in any case, Piqué. The problem for Barcelona’s sports area was that Umtiti forced his knee in Russia. France lifted the Cup, but the central defender no longer regained his level at Barça.

In the 2018-2019 campaign, he participated in 25% of the matches, for 36% and 33% of the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, respectively. Nine different injuries, mostly left knee problems (five), forced him to spend a total of 69 games in the infirmary. This season, with Xavi on the bench, he made his debut in the eleven against Osasuna. He played the 90 minutes. He did not return to the starting team.

“I have no complaints. He works with a good disposition, ”said Xavi about Umtiti. At Barça they assure that they will continue working on the Frenchman’s departure. Besiktas, for now, is the only club that has shown interest. In the Barça sports area they trust that they will be able to get rid of the center-back now that he has a more affordable salary. They even visualize repeating a formula similar to Coutinho’s: assuming part of the salary. The priority, however, has already been resolved. Barça lowered the salary bill in the 2021-2022 season and was able to register Ferran Torres.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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