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Barca sign Bartra to 3-year deal

Marc Bartra has agreed a new contract extension at Barcelona, ending the hopes that Tottenham, Liverpool and other clubs had of signing the promising centre-back on the cheap next summer.

Bartra, just turned 23, was out of contract next June, and a reported host of clubs including Inter Milan and Valencia had been hoping to take advantage of the situation.

However, given the defender’s increased game time this season under coach Gerardo Martino it had been expected that Bartra would remain at the Camp Nou, and this was confirmed via an official statement released on Wednesday afternoon by the Catalan club.

“Barcelona communicates that an agreement has been reached with Marc Bartra to renew his contract, which ended on June 30 [next], and has been extended until June 30 of 2017,” the statement said. “The release clause of the new contract will be 25 million euros. The player’s contract will be signed over the coming weeks.”

The Tarragona-born player joined Barca’s La Masia academy in 2002, making his senior debut in February 2010, and become a fixture at under-21 level for Spain, but appearing rarely under former coaches Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova.

Bartra has come to the fore this season however under Martino — making 14 appearances already and impressing sufficiently to earn a first senior call from La Roja coach Vicente Del Bosque.

Attention will now turn to Bartra’s fellow young defender Martin Montoya, who was in the same situation having entered the last six months of his current deal. Montoya, 22, has also been linked with Liverpool and Inter among other clubs.