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Barcelona to register Ferran Torres after Samuel Umtiti signs new contract with reduced salary

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Barcelona can finally register new signing Ferran Torres after Samuel Umtiti signed a new contract and reduced his salary, the club announced on Monday.

Barca announced the signing of Torres from Manchester City for €55 million two weeks ago but have not yet been able to register him within their LaLiga-imposed spending limit.

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Philippe Coutinho's loan move to Aston Villa last week created some room, but director of football Mateu Alemany said over the weekend that it was "not enough" to inscribe Torres.

Umtiti's previous deal was due to expire in 2023 but by extending it over an additional three years without committing to paying him more money, Barca are able to significantly spread out how much he is paid each season.

"The French defender is reducing a part of the salary that he was due to receive in the year and a half remaining on his contract," Barca said in a statement confirming Umtiti's renewal.

"This contract extension operation does not entail any greater financial commitments for FC Barcelona with regard to the player.

"FC Barcelona wishes to publicly express its gratitude to Samuel Umtiti for his willingness and the affection that he has demonstrated towards the club.

"Through this contract extension, FC Barcelona will be able to increase its 'financial fair play' quota and thus register Ferran Torres."

With gross debt standing at over €1 billion and after registering losses of €400m last season, Barca's LaLiga spending limit was reduced to €97m for the campaign.

With their wage bill significantly higher than that cap, they are operating under restrictions which mean they can only spend 25% of any savings they make that -- be that by reducing wages or bringing in transfer fees.

Alemany said earlier this month they made an "exception" when signing Torres from City as they did so knowing they were unable to register him with LaLiga.

Coutinho's exit and Umtiti's renewal have now created room for Torres, but the club continue to work on other departures in the hope of being able to add more players to their squad this month.

Torres is unavailable for selection after testing positive for COVID-19. Barca hope he will return a negative test in the coming days and, if he does, he could feature in the Spanish Supercopa this week.

Barca face Real Madrid in the semifinal in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, with the winners meeting either Atletico Madrid or Athletic Bilbao in Sunday's final.

Ansu Fati was part of the squad which flew out to Riyadh on Monday after recovering from a hamstring injury, while Frenkie de Jong and Ronald Araujo were also on the plane following recent injuries.