Manchester United lead race for Barcelona’s Marc Bartra – report

by Ben Topliss

Manchester United are leading the race for Barcelona outcast Marc Bartra as he considers his options at the club, according to the Mirror.

The centre-back was left out of the squad for Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Real Madrid last weekend, which reportedly left him devastated.

Louis van Gaal is said to be on the lookout for defensive reinforcements and he has identified Bartra as a target.

The Spaniard reportedly has a sliding buyout clause in his contract dependent on the amount of games he gets, and with his time on the pitch limited in recent months, his fee has slashed.

Bartra is also in the process of changing his agent to Barcelona legend Carles Puyol, and his good relationship with van Gaal could facilitate a move.

Daley Blind has been playing in the left centre-back position for the majority of this season but he is not an out-and-out defender and United will need to improve that area of the squad. Bartra could be the answer to the problem, although there is a question mark over his long-term quality.

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