Manchester United and Spain star right back Ona Batlle is reportedly on the verge of completing a move back to Catalonia, rejoining Barcelona Femeni at the end of her contract with the Red Devils.
This was first reported by Maria Tikas of Spanish news outlet SPORT, who claimed only final signatures were left to complete the deal.
BREAKING NEWS @MariaTikas confirms the transfer of Ona Batlle to Barcelona stating that both parties have reached an agreement for weeks. Only the official signing ceremony with the Barça President, Joan Laporta remains.— ata football (@atafball) May 24, 2023
Ona Batlle is coming home culers pic.twitter.com/wtLgERW0su
The move is one which significantly weakens this United team, as Batlle was an exceptional dribbler and chance creator on the right side of the Reds’ attack. Over the last year she averaged 3.45 shot creating actions per 90 and 0.56 goal creating actions per 90, placing her in the elite tier of attacking fullbacks in the world. She is tied for second in FA WSL assists with 9 this season, leading her team in that statistic ahead of Ella Toone and Katie Zelem’s 8 each.
It’s long been feared that Batlle would leave at the end of her contract this summer, with FC Barcelona circling last summer in hopes of completing a transfer. United opted to keep her one more season, and it has certainly paid off as they reached the FA Cup final and are pushing for the league title until the final day of the season. There are contract decisions left to be made for other key players as well, notably Alessia Russo and Mary Earps, so Batlle’s departure at least frees up the club to begin those negotiations.
Batlle will be happy to return to the club she supported and where she trained as a child at La Masia, so fans can be happy for her at least as she joins one of Europe’s elite sides.