Report - Barcelona call off search for a new centre back

Chelsea and Liverpool can rest easily after a report in Marca suggests Barcelona have stopped looking for a centre back.

The summer saw plenty of attention falling onto Chelsea’s David Luiz and Liverpool’s Daniel Agger, with Spanish champions Barcelona reportedly looking to sure up their defence.

Barca’s thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich illustrated problems in their back four, which was one of the reasons the club made an approach for David Luiz in the summer while links with Agger were also maintained.

However, it seems they had the answer all along in the form of youngster Marc Bartra, who has made a significant impact on the first team at the Nou Camp this campaign.

“Marc Bartra’s last three matches for Barcelona have put an end – if not permanently, then at least short-term - to a long-standing debate. The Catalan club will not bring in a centre-back during January,” reads the report in AS.

The 21-year-old Spaniard has featuring in starting roles and sub appearances in both La Liga and the Champions League this season, with emphasis on his enthusiasm, passion and determination when he has played.

His performance against Celtic earlier in the week seems to be getting him a lot of attention back in Spain, as he grew into the match after a difficult start at Celtic Park.

Barca boss Gerardo Martino would have been looking for a reaction from him following the summer, when the club tried to replace him and they can’t help but like what they’ve seen.

“Bartra has proven he is ready to play at Barça. He showed signs of his talent against Real Sociedad and Almería, but the definitive proof came during his outstanding performance against Celtic in the Champions League,” adds the report.

With his deal at the club due to expire next summer, it was also very important for him to perform this season as he looks to try and earn himself a new contract in Barca colours.

If he continues to play well when he’s given a chance and shows the same levels of drive and enthusiasm, then Barca have a very easy choice of extending his contract at the end of the campaign over spending millions of Euros for a potentially complicated transfer.

Bartra’s current reputation seems to be that he’s a solid central defender behind Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano at the club, which gives Martino two options on either side of central defence.

Whether you believed Barca would make another approach for David Luiz or a first official move for Agger or not, the news is undoubtedly positives for those Premier League sides because it reduces the chances of them losing key players.

See also: Barcelona defender's 'comedy' remark sparks Twitter war

image: © mariosp

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