Barcelona board is reportedly looking at the possibility of terminating Samuel Umtiti’s contract after failing to agree on a reduction on his £208,000-per-week salary.
The club have been looking to send the French defender out after his struggles for fitness and form in recent months, but could not finalize an exit for him in the summer.
With the club still in a difficult situation financially, Barcelona have now reached the point where they could simply terminate Umtiti’s deal at the Nou Camp after negotiations to cut his pay went nowhere, as reported by Spanish outlet Sport.
Club chiefs are ‘studying their options’ because they ‘suffer the consequences of a very high salary and zero performance’ on the pitch, the report adds, having failed to play a minute of action this season.
He was frozen out by previous boss Ronald Koeman and new coach Xavi Hernandez does not have him in his plans with an exit and contract termination now seen as the best option for all parties.
The 28-year-old was once a highly-rated centre-back after arriving at Barca from Lyon for around £20million in 2016. He was a first choice member of the squad for his first two seasons, playing 83 times across both campaigns.
However, Injury problems made him sturggle for minutes. Umtiti, whose current contract runs until 2023 started just six times in LaLiga last season, and ten times the year before that.
In October Spanish media had claimed Barcelona were pushing the player to find himself a new club after struggling to find a buyer in the summer.
Umtiti reportedly demanded to join a Champions League club and snubbed interest from Nice, Besiktas and Lazio, frustrating his club’s efforts to get him off the books.