Barcelona threatened to rescind Samuel Umtiti's contract before latest renewal - report

Samuel Umtiti recently signed a contract extension with Barcelona, but the negotiations involving the new deal were anything but simple.

Samuel Umtiti in a file photo. (Image: Twitter)

French defender Samuel Umtiti recently signed a contract extension with FC Barcelona. And while that might not have at first glance seem like the best of news, it was actually quite beneficial for the club.

The extended deal saw Umtiti, one of the club’s highest earners, agree to take a 10% wage cut. This freed up space in Barcelona’s wage bill to register new signing Ferran Torres.

Given Umtiti was booed by fans for not taking a pay cut earlier in the season, it is a massive turnaround in fortunes for him. He went from being someone fans hated to a player whose new contract was celebrated.

However, things could well have turned quite differently for the Frenchman. According to a report in the Catalonia-based newspaper Sport, the club nearly terminated his contract unilaterally.

Yes, the club threatened to do so unless he could assist with a solution to help them register new signing Torres. And that is a battle that could well have turned ugly.

The club would argue that Umtiti was not living up to the basic terms of his deal; hence they had no choice but to terminate his contract.

Whether a judge would see things the same way would be a whole different issue altogether. And the matter could likely have dragged on for quite a while.

In the end, both sides came to a solution that best suited all parties involved.

Why has Samuel Umtiti struggled so much in recent years?

The major issues began in 2018. That was the year Umtiti signed a new five-year deal with Barcelona, but also the year he picked up a knee injury.

The injury could have been treated with surgery. But with the World Cup coming, Umtiti was keen to not miss the tournament; thus, he chose to treat the injury in a more conservative manner.

This ensured he played a key role in France’s World Cup-winning campaign, but he spent a lot of time out injured during the domestic season.

Since then, he has yet to find the form that made him one of the best defenders in the league. What’s more, Barcelona’s dire financial straits put the microscope on every inflated deal the board handed out; chief among them was that of Umtiti, who was earning about 12 million euros per year.

That he refused a pay cut initially led to fans booing him and even attacking his car. However, that animosity now seems a thing of the past.

Sportslumo Desk

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