FC Barcelona and Samuel Umtiti are back on good terms after the defender signed a new contract. Umtiti will earn less per year, but for a longer period of time with the new deal. That means that overall, he will only lose a small amount of money.
The original deal had one-and-a-half years left, earning €12 million per year, for a total of €18m over the life of the contract. Now, he’ll earn €16.2 million in four-and-a-half years, which is around €3.6 million per year. That means that, over the life of the contract, he will take a 10% reduction in wages.
More crucially, the big cut in his year-to-year wage means that Barcelona now have more space in the salary cap. Enough that is, to register new signing Ferran Torres and use him as soon as they want to.
Both of these were very good developments for the Catalan club, which has struggled to keep wages manageable after profits took a big hit after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fans had grown angry with Umtiti, who has featured rarely after a major injury derailed his career. The club was also increasingly frustrated with his refusal to find a team that would take him on loan, that he would accept playing for.
It’s now been reported that Barcelona was even threatening to unilaterally rescind the player’s contract if he did not agree to find a solution that would allow them to register Torres.
That action would have almost certainly led to a court battle. Barcelona may have tried to argue that Umtiti was not living up to the basic terms of his contract. Whether a judge would agree would be a different story. The legal battle could have turned ugly, with both sides arguing for years.
In the end, both the club and Umtiti decided to settle things in a more peaceful manner.