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Manchester United identify Barcelona talent as potential defensive solution

Manchester United are understood to be keen on signing Barcelona defender Marc Bartra as Louis van Gaal looks to strengthen his backline.

The Spain international played no part in last weekend’s Clasico—a one-sided fixture which Barcelona won 4-0—and is understood to be considering his options for the future, according to the Mirror.

Bartra is a home-grown talent, who moved to Barca from Espanyol in 2002 and began featuring for the Catalonian giants’ senior side in 2010. He has made over a half-century of appearances since, but has never truly established himself as a starter for Luis Enrique’s side.

United were linked with another Spanish defender, Sergio Ramos, during the summer [Express], and were ultimately left a defender short when the experienced international remained at Real Madrid and Jonny Evans was sold to West Bromwich Albion.

Van Gaal has been forced to play midfielder Daley Blind in the heart of the defence this season, although a long-term injury to Luke Shaw has also necessitated that the Dutch international has been required on the left of the defence.

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The Mirror note that , in his quest for a left-footed centre-back, van Gaal has identified Bartra as a potential solution to a problem area.

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