Here’s an official transfer that (probably) no one saw coming: Barcelona defender Marc Bartra will join Borussia Dortmund this summer after the Bundesliga side activated the $9-million buyout clause in the Spanish defender’s contract, Barca confirmed on Friday.
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Having never established himself a full-time start at Barca (never more than 20 La Liga appearances in a season, or 30 in all competitions), the 25-year-old was happy to accept the move from Spain to Germany, as he’ll continue to compete for domestic league titles and feature (even more) heavily in the UEFA Champions League.
Bartra, who joined Barca at the age of 12, is a product of the club’s famed la Masia academy. He is a five-time La Liga champion (2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016), a three-time Copa del Rey winner (2012, 2015, 2016) and a two-time Champions League winner (2011, 2015).
The signing of Bartra will make it one player in, with one player — Ilkay Gundogan — one already this week, as the German midfielder completed his move to Premier League side Manchester City on Thursday. German national team defender Mats Hummels announced last month that he, too, will be leaving Dortmund to rejoin Bayern Munich this summer, presumably replaced by Bartra in the starting lineup.