Umtiti lowers salary and Barça will register Torres

BARCELONA (AP) – Barcelona will be able to sign newly signed Ferran Torres after defender Samuel Umtiti agreed to cut his salary, the club announced Monday.

Torres was introduced last week, but could not immediately join the squad as Barcelona could not open a space for him without breaking the strict financial regulations of the Spanish League.

The Catalan team reported that it reached an agreement with Umtiti to renew his contract until 2026, with a reduction in the salary that the French defender will receive in the year and a half that remains of his current contract.

“With this operation, by extending the player’s contract, the club does not acquire any higher financial commitment with the footballer,” he stressed.

Barça disbursed an initial chip of 55 million euros (62 million dollars) to acquire Torres from Manchester City. The 21-year-old Spanish forward signed a five-year contract with the Catalans, including a 1 billion euro ($ 1.1 billion) release clause.

Captains Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto agreed to salary cuts last year so that a club hit by financial problems could have a better margin of maneuver.

Lionel Messi agreed to cut his salary by 50%, but it was insufficient for the team to retain him and the Argentine star went to Paris Saint-Germain.

“FC Barcelona publicly expresses its gratitude to Samuel Umtiti for the effort and affection he has shown towards the club,” said Barcelona.

Torres has not played since October after injuring himself in a match with the Spanish national team.

He was one of the Barcelona players who tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days, but received the go-ahead on Monday to accompany the rest of the squad in Saudi Arabia to play the Spanish Super Cup. The Catalan club will face Real Madrid in the semifinals on Wednesday.

Midfielder Pedri González also tested negative on Monday and will travel to Saudi Arabia with Torres.

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