Liverpool Transfer News: Marc Bartra Eyed, Joao Teixeira Exit Talk, Top Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 23, 2016

FC Barcelona's Marc Bartra reacts after scoring against Levante during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Liverpool reportedly "lead the race" for Barcelona defender Marc Bartra, who could be available on a cut-price deal this summer. Plus, the Reds are reportedly willing to offload the attacking trio of Joao Teixeira, Christian Benteke and Mario Balotelli.  

Spanish newspaper El Confidencial reported this week that Liverpool are front-runners to complete the signature of fringe player Bartra, who is currently fifth in Barca's centre-back pecking order (h/t Goal).

Bartra has made just three league starts this season.
Bartra has made just three league starts this season.David Ramos/Getty Images

Goal mentioned Bartra's release clause has dropped to €12 million (£9.5 million) because of his lack of playing time in the squad, but that figure could fall even lower depending on his involvement in the months to come.

Bartra was recently called into manager Vicente del Bosque's Spain squad for the upcoming friendlies against Italy and Romania, but David Cartlidge of beIN Sports said he believes the defender doesn't deserve to be in the side:

David Cartlidge @davidjaca

Disappointing seeing Bartra and Nacho make Spain squad. Don’t deserve it, and not good enough. But Spain’s CB issue a concern for some time.

Javier Mascherano, Gerard Pique, Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen all sit ahead of Bartra in manager Luis Enrique's reckoning, per Goal, and the La Masia academy graduate, 25, may decide he's had enough of riding the Camp Nou bench.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has already secured the free transfer of Schalke centre-back Joel Matip, who will arrive this summer, and Bartra may yet prove value for money if given an extended run in the first team.

Meanwhile, Teixeira has been named as one of three forwards the Merseysiders are willing to sell this summer in an attempt to raise £50 million for reinforcements, according to Football Insider's Wayne Veysey.

Former Sporting Lisbon starlet Teixeira has made just eight senior appearances for Liverpool since earning his first-team debut in February 2014, and Benteke has been a fringe figure under Klopp. The former Aston Villa hitman was signed by managerial predecessor Brendan Rodgers last summer for £32.5 million, and he told Belgian magazine Sport/Voetbalmagazine this week of his angst under the current coach (via Veysey):

Some team-mates have said that I was lucky with the arrival of Klopp, because I certainly would play. When your coach says he wanted to take you to Dortmund and a little later you sit at the same club and he ignores you, it is hard to understand.

I do not understand why people say that [I cannot fit in at Liverpool]. I can play pressing and moving a lot. It is not that we play in the Barcelona style.

The Belgium international has scored eight goals in 34 games for the Reds, but broadcaster Nik Postinger has advised the striker to let results in training and on the pitch do the talking: 

Nik Postinger @nikpostinger

Can't stand players who rock the boat in interviews. Do the talking on pitch; if you can't—take the first accepted bid out of here. #Benteke

Balotelli has spent the 2015-16 campaign back on loan at former club Milan, but it doesn't appear Klopp is likely to give the Italian much of a chance back at his parent club.

Last season's Anfield flop has battled injury at the San Siro, making just 16 appearances for the Rossoneri, and it appears likely he'll be shifted on from Merseyside again this summer in order to raise transfer funds.