Barcelona are reportedly ready to take drastic measures in order to force unwanted defender Samuel Umtiti out of the club before the transfer window closes.
According to a report from Catalan publication Sport, Barcelona are prepared to terminate the contract of out-of-favour defender Samuel Umtiti in case he fails to seal a transfer away from the club over the next week.
Umtiti signed for Barcelona from boyhood club Olympique Lyon in the summer of 2016. A solid debut season led to a lot of hope and positivity but the 27-year-old has since struggled to live up to the expectations. Constant injury issues have seen the Frenchman drop down the pecking order of things at Camp Nou year after year to a point where the club is now intent on offloading him.
Barcelona’s financial problems are no well-kept secret. It is due to those issues coupled with their bloated wage bill that the Catalans were unable to renew Lionel Messi’s contract, with the 34-year-old going on to sign for Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer. Efforts continue to be made to trim down their salaries, with Umtiti among one of the players that the club wants to sell.
However, the 27-year-old is determined to stay put at Barcelona. The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner, who featured just 16 times across all competitions last season, had been given an ultimatum that he had to convince manager Ronald Koeman to keep him before the new campaign began or leave this summer.
Umtiti was given his chances by the manager during the pre-season, but the defender failed to change the Dutchman’s mind. However, now he is going back on his word and refusing to leave, despite having several offers on the table to secure an exit from Camp Nou.
Umtiti’s actions and attitude have left Barcelona frustrated, as per the report, with the Catalans now running out of patience. And, thus, they have now given the Frenchman a week to accept any of the offers that he has failing which they will unilaterally terminate his contract. That is something that the Blaugrana have already done this summer, with Brazilian midfielder Matheus Fernandes.
Barcelona’s termination of his contract led to the Brazilian taking legal action against them, and Umtiti, too, could follow suit in case the club decides to go down the same road with him as well. The 27-year-old still has two years left on his current deal with the Catalan giants and the option of a mutual termination has been ruled out.
So, it remains to be seen if Barca are forced to resort to drastic measures or whether the Frenchman decides to take up one of the offers that he already has on the table.