Samuel Umtiti’s contract has been an open matter since the winter window in which Manchester United offered him an astronomical deal, saying they would pay his 60m euro release clause.
Barcelona stopped the first blow and accepted negotiating with Umtiti even though it wasn’t planned until next year.
Conversations broke down when he asked for 12 million euros a season. An enormous problem for the club, given it would destabilise the dressing room, making him one of the best paid behind Lionel Messi.
Various meetings didn’t bear fruit as Umtiti did not lower his demands. However in recent weeks the two parties have moved closer together. Barca know if they go to the transfer market to find a replacement it will be hard to encounter a defender with the same characteristics who will adapt to the team’s play, and the price would be between 50 and 100 million.
President Bartomeu said on Catalunya Radio that “he can’t jump two or three pay grade scales because he’s young, but we will reach a deal.”
Umtiti has lowered his demands to stay at Barca too. He’s a starter in a team where he can fight for all titles and his style of play suits the club well. Meanwhile he has adapted wonderfully to the city.
Conscious that his demands might alienate him from the dressing room and the fans, Umtiti wanted to show that his sporting commitment is intact and unquestionable. He has often shown his love of the club and desire to stay on the pitch or on social media.
CONDEMNED TO REACH A DEAL
Barca want the deal sealed before the 2018 World Cup, although it is difficult for them to compete with the economic power of the Premier League. The situation is not the best for either, although they are condemned to reach a deal.
Samu can’t get the salary he wants at Manchester United but he will continue in a team where in sporting terms, he has everything, while Barca have to open their hands and raise the salary of the French international, even though they know it will play havoc with their pay structure.
A formula which would work is a relatively low salary base (although still much higher than it currently is), with big bonuses in terms of performance.