Marc Bartra could become an unexpected problem for Barcelona at the end of the season. The centre-back has become an authentic bargain on the summer transfer market, because of a peculiarity in his contract, of the same type that led Thiago Alcantara to Bayern Munich.
Bartra's contract took him to 2017, but with a clause in it over the number of games he plays. His release clause was €50million, but because he has not featured in more than 60 per cent of first-team games, he will be available for just €10m. The largest clubs in Europe are aware of the situation and may pounce.
The intention of the player is to succeed at Barcelona and for his, he decided to renew his contract, despite having better offers on the table. His progression was adequate and he started to feature heavily towards the beginning of the season. Vicente del Bosque called him up to the Spain squad too, but an injury hampered him anad in the second half of the season he has fallen behind.
He is the third or even fourth centre-back in Enrique's plans, and has not featured in any of the most important games of the year. Only the game against PSG at the Camp Nou in the group phase. Bartra has played less than he would have hoped and now people can activate his lower clause.
Clubs are searching for centre-backs and there are many teams at the top level that would take him for just €10m, plus taxes. It's a tiny number for a Spanish international with a bright future ahead of him. Many clubs have got in contact to find out the details, but he is focused on the two finals at the end of the season. Once Barcelona have played in the Champions League final, both the club and the player may look to resolve this situation, although it is unknown if they can keep him.
Barcelona know the situation and have studied his contract, but understand clearly that danger exists and his departure for a new side would be very painful. Real Madrid aren't going to be one of them, but other Champions League clubs may make a move for him. Interest comes from both England and Germany, two leagues in which the the player has been followed for a while. Bartra had a tempting offer from Tottenham, before renewing his contract and deciding to stay. But now the situation is different because a move may be attractive in sporting terms.
That his has been allowed to happen after the Thiago situation is a surprise, and on that occasion at least his clause was €20m, rather than just €10m. The centre-back's days at the club may be numbered and it might leave Barcelona in the lurch.