Football Soccer - Spain v South Korea - International Friendly
FC Barcelona yesterday confirmed the departure of talented centre-back Marc Bartra, via their official site, after Borussia Dortmund agreed to meet his 8 million euro buyout clause.
The Spaniard has been a bit-part figure for the La Liga giants since his debut in 2010 but his performances when called upon have been good enough to attract the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Tottenham have long been linked with the 25-year old, as reported by the likes of The Mirror, and with a buyout clause of around £6.3 million (at today’s rate) the North London club may well have missed a trick.
Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier in action with Southampton's Dusan Tadic
The La Masia graduate is just the type of ball-playing central defender Mauricio Pochettino requires in his team and given Eric Dier’s transformation into full-time holding midfielder, cover is needed at right-centre back.
Toby Alderweireld had a stellar campaign last term, playing virtually every minute of Spurs’ Premier League and Europa League fixtures, but banking on the Belgian having another injury-free season would be a risk.
Tottenham Hotspur's Toby Alderweireld in action with Southampton's Shane Long
Pochettino may navigate this issue with the signing of another defensive midfielder (see: Victor Wanyama) allowing Dier to drop back in as cover without losing crucial stability in midfield.
Of course, there is no guarantee that Spurs would have beaten Dortmund to Bartra’s signature had they shown interest. The German runners-up are a massive draw in their own right and with the departure of Mats Hummels to rivals Bayern Munich, Bartra is far more likely to see regular first-team football at the Westfalenstadion then he would at White Hart Lane.
It remains to be seen how Pochettino will strengthen over the summer as he looks to take Spurs forward but there’s no doubting Marc Bartra would have been a shrewd addition.