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Marc Bartra on Jose Mourinho’s radar this summer, if you believe the reports…

Marc Bartra is the latest in a long list of names linked to Manchester United this summer. So far, Jose Mourinho’s side have so far signed Victor Lindelof in a £30.7 million deal from Benfica last month. There are reports that Alvaro Morata, Ivan Perisic, and Nemanja Matic are all on United’s radar this summer, but movement seems very slow, despite the reports you may read which seem to be written to placate rather than to inform suggesting days players could sign, which always seem to come and go with nothing actually happening. United’s defence has been an issue for Mourinho with injuries throughout the past season with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo all being hit at various points fo the season, Eric Bailly also a name added to the injury list, although not for a prolonged period of time. Bartra, if these reports are true would add strength to United’s defence ahead of a season whereby the club will be expected to launch a title challenge in the Premier League.

What is being reported and by who?

The Sun and The Mirror have both reported that Bartra, a Borussia Dortmund player, is now a target for United manager Jose Mourinho despite the club landing Victor Lindelof from Benfica earlier in the summer. It was reported that Michael Keane was wanted by Mourinho along with Lindelof and with Keane signing for Everton, Mourinho may still be looking for another central defensive target this summer, which could push Chris Smalling closer to the exit door. The reports in The Sun are taken from the Manchester Evening News, as are the reports in The Mirror, which actually come from AS in Spain. Other than these reports, there is nothing out there from another source, just different sources citing The Sun, The Mirror, The Manchester Evening News and AS. Take of that what you will.

What type of player is Marc Bartra?

Marc Bartra is a central defender who is thought to be an ideal fit to Mourinho’s system and will be a decent addition to strengthen the depth of the defence ahead of the new season. At 26, Bartra is heading into his peak as a player and despite arriving at the Bundesliga club a year ago, it is speculated that he could leave Dortmund for Old Trafford this summer, although the reports may not seem to be all that credible at this moment in time. Last season, Bartra made 23 appearances in all competitions under Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel and although the player may not be satisfied with that, which could be why rumours of a move have come through in the media. There is no smoke without fire. Bartra was injured in the explosion which rocked the Borussia Dortmund team bus ahead of their UEFA Champions League clash with Monaco, which was delayed by around 24 hours. Bartra was wounded and hospitalised, missing the match amongst others at the end of the season. Bartra is known for his pace and almost perfect passing, along with his mentality, aerial prowess and also his ability to play in the right-back role, something Mourinho may well be looking for this summer.

Likelihood of the transfer?

At this moment in time, these reports are just rumours with nothing solid being reported. It may be that Bartra is on Mourinho’s list of reinforcements this summer and that he is not considered an option based on the clubs or even the players desire to remain in the Bundesliga. Bartra did come through Barcelona’s La Masia Academy, which could suggest the abilities he has, but the fact that Barcelona sold him a year ago may suggest that he may well be better off where he is at this moment in time, no disrespect to the player. Right now, I would doubt that there is anything in these reports being that the level of credibility of the sources which have reported the rumour, they are not the best. Whether Mourinho may be interested in the remains to be seen. If the Portuguese manager is in fact interested in another central defender, this may be something better achieved by looking within the Academy [Axel Tuanzebe], but if it is a player to offer another role, say the right-back position, Bartra could well be the man for Mourinho, but chances are he would only play a peripheral role next season if Antonio Valencia continues his resurgence.

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