Barcelona may have been trying desperately to sell Samuel Umtiti after informing him that he is not part of manager Xavi Hernandez's plans going forward, but it is the defender that has come forward to help the club in its time of desperate need.
The Catalan club's financial troubles have been laid bare for everyone to see in the last 12 months, and they have been struggling to sign new players, and when they did, they have been unable to register them immediately. The club's recent over-spending and inflated wage bill saw their spending cap slashed by La Liga, leaving them unable to compete for the best players without offloading a number of high-earners first.
Umtiti was among the players that the club was hoping to offload, but they continue to struggle to find the right suitor to take on the centre-back and his high wages. The France international has now signed a new deal until 2026, that saw him reduce the wages he was due in the final year and a half of his deal that he had remaining.
"FC Barcelona and first team player Samuel Umtiti have reached an agreement to extend the latter's contract until 30 June 2026. The French defender is reducing a part of the salary that he was due to receive in the year and a half remaining on his contract," a statement read on the club's official site.
The French defender's generosity towards the Catalan club has now given them the financial room to register new signing Ferran Torres, who joined the club at the start of the year from Manchester City in a £46.7 million deal. Barcelona, however, are still not out of the woods, and will have to find other ways to further reduce their wage bill if they want to sign other players this month.
"FC Barcelona wishes to publicly express its gratitude to Samuel Umtiti for his willingness and the affection that he has demonstrated towards the club. Through this contract extension, FC Barcelona will be able to increase its 'financial fair play' quota and thus register Ferran Torres with the Spanish Professional Football League."
The good news for Xavi is that Torres will now be available for Barcelona's Super Cup clash against Real Madrid on Wednesday night. The Spain international, who tested positive for Covid-19 last week, has returned a negative test and will be part of the squad travelling to Saudi Arabia for the upcoming El Clasico clash.