Manchester United Women full-back Ona Batlle is the subject of strong interest from European Champions Barcelona ahead of the summer transfer window.
Batlle’s contract at Manchester United expires this summer, though there is an option to extend for a further 12 months.
According to BBC Sport’s Emma Sanders, her future at the Red Devils might just depend on Champions League qualification.
Manchester United Women Full-Back Ona Batlle Future in Doubt
Barcelona Interest Hardly a Surprise
Since joining Manchester United in 2020, Batlle has made a real impact and grown plenty of support from the fanbase. It’s clear she was a shrewd signing by former head coach Casey Stoney and has announced herself as one of the best full-backs in world football.
The versatile Spain international mostly plays at right-back for the Reds with Hannah Blundell, who joined from Chelsea Women last summer, operating best on the left. The full-back pairing have been an important part of United’s game under Marc Skinner this season, both contributing to five goals each. They are joint – also with Martha Thomas – as the Red Devils’ fifth most productive player(s) in all competitions this season, though Batlle might have been ahead of both, she had the ball over the line in a recent win over Reading, only to be denied by the lack of goal-line technology in the women’s game.
If she was to leave the club, she would be a huge loss to Manchester United’s famously passionate supporters at Leigh Sports Village.
Though interest from back home in Spain was always to be expected for a player of her ability and joining arguably the best women’s football club on the planet right now, might be too tough to turn down.
Manchester United’s Champions League Qualification Chances
Manchester United currently occupy the third and final Champions League qualifying slot in the Women’s Super League, though are being run down by a valiant Manchester City side. City are on incredible form and whilst United can only win their games and hope they’ve done enough, they do at times feel like a sitting duck for the one-time WSL winners.
United had held a comfortable-looking goal difference advantage too, but even that’s been trimmed to just three. There are currently three points separating the sides and the Blues have a game in hand.
If the Red Devils succeed, they will qualify for the competition for the first time since their formation in 2018.
Chelsea Interested & Manchester United’s Potential Replacement
Emma Sanders also reports that reigning WSL champions Chelsea are also interested in Batlle.
Chelsea signed promising youngster Lauren James from United last summer and could look to raid the Reds of a top talent again.
Elsewhere, Manchester United are said to have looked at Tottenham Hotspur’s Ashleigh Neville as a potential replacement for Batlle, should she leave.
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