Manchester United are interested in signing defender Marc Bartra from Barcelona in the summer, according to reports. The Spain international has fallen behind the likes of Thomas Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu in the defensive pecking order at the Nou Camp and has made only nine league appearances for Barcelona this season.
Bartra has little over a year left on his contract and would command a transfer fee of around €12m (£9.5m), according to Catalan daily Sport. The 25-year-old was left out of Luis Enrique's 19-man squad that travelled to London for the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Arsenal on 23 February and is reported to be considering his options.
Bartra has made 55 league appearances for Barcelona, scoring four goals. He has been capped six times by Spain.
Speculation linking Bartra with a summer move to Manchester United resurfaced after the player's agent, former Barca captain Carles Puyol, posted a picture of himself in Manchester earlier this month. Mundo Deportivo reported that the defender was giving serious consideration to leaving Barcelona in search of more playing time elsewhere.
The paper claimed that Bartra had decided against a January transfer and to wait until the summer instead to see if his situation improves.
Speaking after playing in a 1-1 Copa del Rey draw with Valencia earlier this month, the centre-back said: "I won't give up. I am an optimistic guy. My aim is to make history at this club. My situation is not easy to deal with but it's not the first time. I've always found the way out of a bad situation. I have the trust of my teammates and little by little I also hope to convince the manager. The coach gave me minutes today. I am optimistic and I just can keep working."
Barcelona have an eight-point lead over Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga and host Sevilla at the Nou Camp on 28 February.