Barcelona Reveal New Marc Bartra Contract Details, Includes Hefty Release Clause

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2014

BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 23: Marc Bartra of FC Barcelona looks on during the warm up prior to the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Granda CF at Camp Nou on November 23, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Marc Bartra will put pen to paper on a three-year contract extension next Tuesday, March 18, according to Barcelona's official website.

The new deal will keep the defender at the Camp Nou until the summer of 2017 and comes complete with a €25 million (£20.9 million) release clause.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 23:  Cesc Fabregas (C) of FC Barcelona celebrates with his teammates Marc Bartra (L) and Neymar after scoring his team's second goal from the penalty spot during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Granda CF at Camp Nou
David Ramos/Getty Images

The news comes just a week after club stalwart Carles Puyol announced his decision to leave Barcelona at the end of this season, with the Daily Mail's Pete Jenson chronicling the centre-back's illustrious career in Catalan country.

If Bartra's name isn't yet synonymous with the succession to the throne of one of the best defenders of the last decade, it seems Barca are nevertheless eager to ensure his service remain utilised within their walls.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 04: (EDITORS NOTE: This image has been converted to Black and White) Carles Puyol of FC Barcelona arrives for a press conference to announce he will be leaving the Catalan club at the end of the season at the Sant Joan Despi Sport
David Ramos/Getty Images

The release clause in particular is a sign of just how highly the Spaniards rate the 23-year-old, who is undergoing a season of ascendance with the reigning La Liga champions.

Bartra has made 13 league appearances this term, per Transfermarkt, and is preferred to Javier Mascherano by manager Gerardo Martino at times, although the younger asset is still developing in a first-team capacity.

As Barca's profile of the player details, Bartra joined La Blaugrana's ranks at just 11 years of age and has since gone on to become one of La Masia's more promising defensive products in recent years.

Irrespective of the glowing reputation the Barcelona academy holds as a factory of world-class playmakers, it's been somewhat more difficult for the club to churn out defensive stars of the same standard.

NETANYA, ISRAEL - JUNE 15:  Marc Bartra of Spain controles the ball during the UEFA European U21 Championship Semi Final match between Spain and Norway at Netanya Stadium on June 15, 2013 in Netanya, Israel.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Following this season, Bartra will now jostle with the likes of Mascherano and Gerard Pique for prominence in Martino's setup, but it's foreseeable that Barca will also look to sign a Puyol replacement this summer.

As beIN Sports' Adam Hirshfield points out, the Barcelona defence is the most pressing concern at the Camp Nou:

According to Squawka, Bartra has won 56 percent of all his duels this season, with 25 of his 37 headed battles going in his favour. The Barcelona upbringing is also apparent in his winning 73 percent of his take-ons this term.

Those teams that may have been circling around the formerly out-of-contract asset can seemingly forget about the chance of picking Bartra up on a cut-price deal.

Bartra's focus will now be entirely on his own evolution within Barca's ranks and his opportunity to prove that he can be the solution to the club's woes at the back.