Manchester United: Why Marc Bartra Transfer Rumour Fits Jose Mourinho's Summer 2017 Plans

On the evening of April 11 2017, Marc Bartra was sitting at the back of the Borussia Dortmund team bus when the vehicle was hit by three explosions.

The Spain international, 26, required surgery on his right arm and wrist after he was struck by shrapnel, returning only for the final game of Dortmund's Bundesliga season against Werder Bremen on May 22. Bartra described the occasion as "one of the best moments of my career."

A terrible spring could yet segue into a bright summer for Bartra. According to Spanish newspaper AS, Jose Mourinho has identified Bartra as the "perfect fit" for his rebuilding project at Manchester United.

Bartra has impeccable pedigree, having been schooled in the Barcelona academy. He performed well at Dortmund last season, making 31 appearances in all competitions during what turned into a disappointing season for Thomas Tuchel's side.

Mourinho has already spent upwards of £30 million on one defender so far this summer, in taking Victor Lindelof from Benfica.

Bartra, like Lindelof, can play as a right back or a center back and is confident on the ball. Mourinho may not be harking back deliberately to the halcyon era of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic but he does look to be building a similar strategy. Lindelof, the ball-player, and Bartra if he joins, partnered with the fearsome, immaculate physicality of Eric Bailly.

It's a simple formula that brought United success in the later years of Sir Alex Ferguson so it makes sense for Mourinho to try and repeat the trick.

At the very least, United should be more consistent in defense in 2017-18 than it was last season, when Mourinho was forced to mix and match his partnerships due to injuries. Bartra could be one more piece in the evolving puzzle that is Mourinho's United team.