Bartra using U-21 Euros as Barca center back audition

The defender is pleased with his performances in the European Under-21 championship, especially considering his infrequent appearances at Camp Nou.
Barcelona center back Marc Bartra hopes he has proven in the European Under-21 championships that the club does not need to invest in a new defender this summer.

There have been suggestions that Paris Saint-Germain star Thiago Silva could make the leap from Ligue 1 to La Liga in the upcoming transfer window following Tito Vilanova's confirmation that the Catalans are in the market for a center back.

Bartra, who has helped Spain's U-21s reach Tuesday's European championship final, believes he is capable of stepping up into a permanent first-team position instead of a new, high-profile signing coming in.

"All I can do is focus on my game and show those that watch me play that I’m good enough to stay at Barca and that perhaps the club doesn’t need to buy another center back," Bartra told AS. "I know that by being at Barca there will always be a lot of completion for center back but that’s what these [Under-21] tournaments are for, to show people how good you are. That is how I’m looking at it."

Bartra is delighted with his performances in a Spain U-21 jersey heading into the final against Italy this week and is pleased to hear his Barca comrades are following the squad's progress in Israel.

"I’m very happy, because I didn't play regularly during the year, and I wasn’t sure how I’d cope during this tournament, but I think that I’m responding very well," Bartra said. "I speak with my teammates, with [Jordi] Alba, Xavi and some of the other Barca players in the Spain side who are following our progress, that gives you confidence."

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