Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool have been dealt some bad news in their pursuit of Marc Bartra, with Barcelona representatives confirming that the defender was ‘un-transferable’.
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Both Premier League heavyweights are reportedly interested in the Spain defender, and were planning to activate his release clause to bring him to England according to the Express.
However, speaking to O Jogo [via Le 10 Sport] Barcelona sporting director Ariedo Braida has confirmed that the Catalan giants will not countenance a move for the player.
“Barta is un-transferable,” he began, “I don’t know if there are negotiations, but I don’t think that leaving Barcelona is in his plans.
“Marc Bartra is a quality player and like all quality players, many clubs are interested, but we will not sell him.”
Braida’s comments will come as a bitter disappointment to both Liverpool and Spurs, both of whom are in need of defensive reinforcements ahead of the new season.
While the top four in the Premier League all conceded no more than 38 goals last season, Liverpool shipped 48 while Tottenham let a dismal 53 goals in. The likes of Southampton, Stoke City and West Ham United all boasted better defences than Liverpool, while relegated Hull City were just one of 15 teams who let in fewer goals than Spurs.
Tottenham may also face the added problem of the departure of Hugo Lloris [Standard]—without whom their defensive record would surely have been much worse.
Liverpool too are facing a defensive reshuffle; Glen Johnson has been released on a free [Mirror], while Alberto Moreno has not yet demonstrated that he is of the class to guide the Reds back into the Champions League positions.
As well as Spurs and Liverpool, TalkSPORT have reported that German giants Bayern Munich, as well as 2014 EPL champions Manchester City have also registered an interest in the 24-year-old defender.
Should the Bavarians act upon their reported interest, the defender may well be keen on a reunion with former coach Pep Guardiola.
He made 14 appearances in the Spanish top flight last season, helping Barcelona to a historic treble—winning the Copa del Rey, the Champions League and the Liga BBVA crown.