Barcelona technical director Robert Fernandez has admitted the likeliness of Marc Bartra leaving the Nou Camp during the summer transfer window amid reports linking him with Manchester United. However, the club chief assured fans that Neymar, Sergio Busquets, Lionel Messi, Dani Alves, Claudio Bravo and Marc-André ter Stegen will remain with the La Liga leaders, despite speculation.
Bartra was very close to leaving Barcelona last summer due to a lack of playing time. However, the 25-year-old defender decided to stick it out at the Nou Camp for an additional season. Despite his efforts, the situation has worsened even further for the player, being restricted to just three La Liga starts as Javier Mascherano, Gerard Pique, Thomas Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu all feature ahead of him in the manager's pecking order.
Catalan daily Sport recently suggested that Manchester United were monitoring the situation, as the Premier League giants are looking to bolster their defence and Barcelona may consider to cashing in for around €12m (£9.3m).
Fernandez suggested that the club could will "open the door" for Bartra in the summer, but added that they would be keen to include a buy-back option in case he excels elsewhere, something Manchester United would be unlikely to accept.
"Bartra has struggled to break through into the first team as there are very good centre-backs in the squad and the competition is difficult," Fernandez said during an interview with Estudio Estadio. "If we open the door for him, we will think about the future."
Marca recently claimed that aside from Bartra five other Barcelona first-team players — Alves, Adriano, Mathieu, Vermaelen and one of the two goalkeepers — could leave the club in the summer window in order to fund squad improvements and secure the services of Neymar and Sergio Busquets on new mega-deals.
Fernandez, however, has claimed that Alves and the two goalies will stay, as the club has the money to renew the contracts of Neymar and Busquets anyway.
"We have not received any offer for Alves and we don't want to sell him," Fernandez said amid reports claiming that the Brazilian could be tempted by money from China. "He has given us outstanding performances for the club and we are not even considering his departure."
The same could be said for the two men between the sticks, despite suggestions that the duo are unhappy with Luis Enrique's rotation policy.
"We are not seeking any reinforcement in goal. Bravo and Ter Stegen would be the number one for any team in the world. They will stay here," he insisted.
Fernandez also categorically stated that Neymar and Busquets will remain at the club well into the future, despite speculation linking them with megabucks moves to the Premier League due to delays in renewing their contracts.
"I made it very clear a fortnight ago, and I'll say it again now, Neymar will be staying here and there'll be no issues," Fernandez said. "He will stay at Barcelona. I'd be concerned about it if he wasn't happy, but that is clearly not the case. I'm saying outright: he will stay at Barca.
"Busquets will stay too. He is in the same situation as Neymar. He is a vital player for Barcelona and he will renew," Fernandez confirmed.
Speaking about Messi, he added: "Messi is in an extraordinary spell and we have a player in him for many years.
"For years people were saying he could be in decline, but it is not true. He has a lot of football to offer still, above all because of his intelligence. He will end up [playing, position-wise] where he wants. That is the reality. He's so good he can decide where he's going to play.
"There are so few occasions that he makes a bad decision. There are a lot of good players, but the difference with him is the decisions he make. He always decides well, that's difficult."