Barcelona reportedly made an approach to sign former academy star Marc Bartra this summer, only to be turned down by the player.

Reigning La Liga champions Barcelona were rejected by former La Masia graduate Marc Bartra this summer, before they moved on to sign Clement Lenglet, as per reports from Spanish outlet Don Balon.

The Catalans were intent on bringing in a new central defender heading into the new season, following the January departure of veteran Javier Mascherano, while Colombian defender Yerry Mina is also rumoured to be headed for an exit this summer.

They had been linked with a move for Lenglet for the past couple of months and eventually managed to land the Frenchman last week, after triggering his release clause of €35.9 million.

However, the Spanish publication is now claiming that before Barcelona decided to make a move for Lenglet, they made an attempt to bring back Bartra to the club, only to be turned down by the defender.

The Spanish international came through Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy and broke through the senior setup at the club in the 2012/13 season. Bartra went on to make 103 appearances for the Catalans over the next four seasons, but joined German side Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2016, in search of regular football.

Passing up an opportunity to return to Camp Nou (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Passing up an opportunity to return to Camp Nou (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Having moved to the Signal Iduna Park, the 27-year old soon established himself as a regular in the starting XI and a fan favourite at BVB.

However, the traumatic experience he had to go through post the Dortmund bus bombing in April last year seemed to have taken a toll on the player mentally. And with playing time not forthcoming in the first-half of the 2017/18 term, he returned to Spain, joining Real Betis in January.

Bartra went on to make 16 appearances for Betis in the La Liga, impressing with a series of solid performances. And understandably, these displays prompted Barcelona into attempting to re-sign the former academy graduate.

However, their overtures were rebuffed by the 27-year old, as he was not particularly keen on returning, only to be a bit-part player, given mainstay Gerard Pique and World Cup winner Samuel Umtiti being the obvious first-choice centre-back pairing at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona may have been rejected by the 13-time capped Spanish international, but in Lenglet they have been able to scoop up one of the most promising young centre-backs in Europe. The 23-year old impressed with his performances in the La Liga and in the UEFA Champions League for Sevilla last season, and should prove to be an excellent addition for the Catalans.

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