Samuel Umtiti signs Barcelona contract extension

Samuel Umtiti joined Barcelona from Lyon in 2016. His new contract links him to the Catalan club until 2026, unless a trade offer comes in.  (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Barcelona gain financial flexibility with the Umtiti contract extension

In rather surprising news, Barcelona and Samuel Umtiti have reached an agreement over a new contract extension.

The Catalan side released a statement confirming the news, which will see the player’s new contract last until June 2026. Umtiti is reducing part of his salary and the club says “this contract operation does not entail any greater financial commitment for FC Barcelona with regard to the player.”

Barcelona also went out of its way to express gratitude for his willingness to reduce his salary and said it demonstrated his affection towards the club.

While some may be scratching their heads as to why Barcelona would offer an extension to a player they’ve made no secret they’re trying to get rid of, there’s a few good reasons as to why they did so.

One, and perhaps the most significant, is because he is reducing his wages, Barcelona are now going to be able to register Ferran Torres. According to ESPN, the money they owe to the Frenchman will now be spread out over more years, thus allowing them more flexibility during the winter transfer window.

The second reason is the extension does not rule out the possibility he ends up leaving. His wages were a huge detriment to any club coming in for him. At the moment he does not appear to have many, if any, teams interested in him but that could change given his lowered wages.

According to Sport, there is also a clause in his new contract that could see him leave as a free agent in 2023, the year his previous contract would have expired. However, Barcelona don’t expect him to exercise that clause.

Nevertheless, the deal is a good one for the club for the stated reasons. It also now gives them some leverage with regards to the negotiations with Ousmane Dembélé.

The Dembélé renewal was seen as integral to being able to register Torres and his representatives knew it. That is no longer the case.

The Umtiti renewal has shifted the balance a bit back towards Barcelona.