Barcelona have announced that Marc Bartra has put pen to paper over a new deal at the Camp Nou, effectively ending any transfer speculation surrounding the defender's future.
The club announced, via their official Twitter account, that the new contract will run until the summer of 2017, while AS added that a €25 million buyout clause has been inserted:
Barta's buy-out clause has been boosted to 25 million euros.— AS English (@English_AS) January 15, 2014
Bartra's previous deal in Catalan country was set to expire at the end of the season, leading to a mound of speculation regarding La Blaugrana's willingness to sell the player this winter.
Despite the former doubts over his situation at Barca, the player has always stayed resolute about his desire to remain at the club. When asked about his negotiations, Bartra is reported by AS (h/t ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan) as saying:
I am not getting into that. The most important thing for me is to play good games, to maintain my form—that would be good for the contract renewal and for many things in the future. I have never thought about leaving Barcelona. I hope to be a Barca defender for many more years.
I did not get many minutes at the start of the season, but I have been getting more. I am ambitious and want to play all the games I can, not just a few minutes here and there. In two months, things have changed, and for the better. [Coach Gerardo Martino] had no fear of putting me in when there were injuries. Being match-fit helps a lot. The better I am, the better it is for the team.
La Masia's most impressive products in recent years have mostly been in midfield and attack, but Bartra is one of the more prodigious defensive assets to have come out of the club's academy of late.
The 23-year-old has received an encouraging amount of playing time under Gerardo Martino, making 11 La Liga appearances this term, per Transfermarkt.co.uk, eight of which have been as a part of the starting line-up.
Squawka also show that the player boasts a magnificent passing accuracy of 92 percent, showing that the Spanish giants' values most certainly aren't lost on their defensive players, either:
Happy 23rd birthday to Marc Bartra. The Barcelona defender has a 92% pass accuracy in La Liga this season. Not bad. pic.twitter.com/gYN1KDsvny— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 15, 2014
If there were any fears over Bartra's worth as a first-team player, the defender is swiftly proving his mettle in La Liga, and he made his debut for the Spanish national team two months ago in a friendly against Equatorial Guinea.
On top of that, this new deal will only serve to further vindicate the young star in his his journey to becoming a part of Barcelona's hierarchy—a host of Europe's elite missing out as a result.