Manchester United defender Ona Batlle will leave to join Barcelona when her contract expires at the end of the month, the club have confirmed.
The Spanish international has signed a three-year contract with the European champions, ending her three-year stay in Manchester.
Batlle, who was a key figure in Marc Skinner side’s WSL title challenge last season, will be rejoining Barca after coming through the Catalan club’s academy.
The 24-year-old never played for the first team, though, having left before making her senior debut for Madrid CFF in 2017.
United have issued a statement wishing Batlle well following confirmation that she won’t be renewing her contract with the Red Devils:
“Everyone at the football club thanks Ona for her fine service and wishes her luck in the next stage of her career.”
Batlle is not the only player leaving United this summer
The Spaniard’s departure comes just off the back of the announcement that Alessia Russo will leave the Manchester club on a free transfer at the end of June.
While the forward’s departure was not a complete surprise, losing her and Batlle in the same summer means that Marc Skinner has a job on his hands rebuilding the squad.
Why have both Batlle and Russo left United?
In Batlle’s case, the lure of playing for Barca (the team that she came through the ranks of as a youngster) was too much, and United have been pretty accepting of the situation.
Russo’s exit was completely different. She grew up supporting the club and there is a huge amount of frustration that the England star has been allowed to leave. There have been reports that the club were simply too slow to offer her a contract extension. However, for quite some time, it has been assumed that Arsenal would win the race for her signature.