- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Barcelona signs Marc Bartra to a three-year contract that ties the young defender to the Spanish champion until 2017.

Bartra was out of contract on June 30 before agreeing to the new deal that will see the center back’s buy-out clause set at 25 million euros ($34 million). Bartra agreed to the deal on Wednesday, which marked his 23rd birthday.

Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Bartra has featured more regularly for the Catalan side with veteran defender Carles Puyol failing to find regular form since his injury return, making 14 appearances in all competitions with one goal scored.

Barcelona next plays at Getafe in the Copa del Rey, holding a 4-0 first-leg advantage.

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