Barcelona sign Ona Batlle on free transfer from Man Utd

Barcelona have completed the signing of Spain full-back Ona Batlle from Manchester United as a free agent, the Catalan club announced on Monday.

Batlle, 24, has agreed a three-year deal with Barca with her contract with United due to expire at the end of June. She returns to the club where she previously spent six years before leaving in 2017.

“It’s always been my dream to play for Barca’s first team,” Batlle said. “It is true that I left before, but I did so with the mentality that it would serve me to come back.

“I have more experience now. I have travelled, I have played in England, where I was happy, but I am delighted to be able to come back and continue my career here.”

Batlle becomes Barca’s first signing of the summer and will find a very different team to the one she left six years ago.

Since then, Barca have reached four Champions League finals — having never previously been in one — winning the competition two times, in 2021 and again this season.

Jonatan Giraldez’s side have also won Liga F in each of the last four seasons and recently, after already wrapping up the title, saw a 64-game unbeaten league streak ended.

After coming through the academy and playing for the B team, Battle left Barca for Madrid CFF in 2017 in search of regular first-team football. She spent one season in Madrid before signing for Levante.

She then joined United in 2020, making 77 appearances across three years with the Women’s Super League side and helping them qualify for next season’s Champions League for the first time in the club’s history.

Batlle, who can play on the left or right side of the defence, is also a regular for Spain, although she is one of the 15 players who declared themselves unavailable for selection last September due to problems with the national team setup.

However, she was one of three players, along with new Barca teammates Aitana Bonmati and Mariona Caldentey, to return to the squad last week for this summer’s World Cup.

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