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Marc Bartra confirms he'll stay at Barcelona, wants to play more next season

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After being very close to leaving, Marc Bartra is not going anywhere, and he'll work hard to have his best season yet.

The Blaugrana center-back attracted the interest from many clubs in Europe due to his low buyout fee after not meeting certain contract goals, but he decided to stick around and remain one of Gerard Piqué's backups on the team defense. He didn't have that many opportunities in Luis Enrique's first season in the helm, but the 24-year-old stepped up his game in the matches he did have the chance to play.

But this season, he wants an even bigger role, and he's willing to work for it. Talking to the press after the team practice in San Francisco ahead of the friendly against Manchester United, Bartra mentioned his decision to stay, and the desire to compete for a starting spot.

"My goal is to keep winning with the team, beat the stats from last season, keep improving and play as many games as possible in the starting 11.

"In my head it has always been about playing at Barça; it’s the best place for me to be. I feel loved by the fans and the Club.

"The more competition there is, the better for everyone."