Mika Màrmol: Who is the Barcelona youngster linked with Celtic?
The links come amid a summer of upheaval at Celtic Park, with the club still to appoint a new manager and Director of Football. There will almost certainly be transfer movement in and out, with Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen reportedly weighing up an approach for Norwegian international defender Kristoffer Ajer just months after they raided the Hoops for Jeremie Frimpong.
Celtic are regularly linked with players who appear on the club’s watchlist and obviously not every individual goes on to be an active target.
Spanish media reports suggest Celtic are “interested” which could suggest they are preparing a bid, or merely keeping tabs on him.
Màrmol is primarily a left-back although he can operate at centre-back too – a boon for any clubs who regularly switch between a back-three and a back-four.
Over the course of his 25 appearances for Barcelona B during the 2020/21 campaign he played 14 times at left-back and 11 at centre-half although he is capable of playing as a left-winger as well.
He is viewed as quick with a good first touch, and registered two goals as a centre-back and one assist as a left-back for Barça B while he has also featured in both positions for Spain Under-20s.
Both Barça B and the Under-20 national team tend to line up in a 4-3-3 formation.
Màrmol was born in Terrassa, around 30km from Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy. His first involvement with the Catalan giants was in 2006 as a five-year-old although he left two years later and continued his youth career with Jabac, hometown club Terrassa, and CF Damm before returning to Jabac, where he caught the eye of Barça scouts.
He rejoined Barcelona in 2018, initially playing for the Under-19 B side. His performances with the Under-19 A side saw him handed a chance with Barça B.
He is under contract with the club until June 2023 and has two hefty release clauses in his deal: €50 million if he fails to progress from the B-team to the first team, and €150 million if he graduates to the Barcelona first team. Both clauses are considerably higher than those of his team-mates who have also recently renewed their contracts.
A total of 12 players who had either spent time in Barcelona’s youth system and / or turned out for Barça B played for the first team last term so there is a chance that Màrmol could follow suit.
Barcelona are understood to be looking for a left-sided centre-back for the first team but Màrmol is viewed as an option for the future, with the club’s hierarchy believing he can still proress in the B team.
That being said, a number of his Barça B team-mates such as Óscar Mingueza and Ilaix Moriba featured for the first team during the 2020/21 campaign and Màrmol may feel he has a chance to follow in their footsteps by staying at Barça B and pushing for the first team.
Mallorca, who won promotion to La Liga for the 2021/22 campaign, and Getafe are both tracking Màrmol’s progress, according to Mundo Deportivo.
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