Bertran agrees Espanyol extension

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ESPANYOL youth product Marc Bertran has signed a new contract which ties him to the Catalan club until 2006.

He is the latest in a line of home-grown talent to commit themselves to the Barcelona-based outfit, following hot on the heels of Antoni Soldevilla and Angel Morales.

The full back has made only nine league appearances this season in a term disrupted by injury, but is highly-rated at the Estadi Montjuic.

The new contract will not only improve the 20-year-old's terms, but will raise his release fee to some ‚é¼12 million (around £8 million).

Bertran's signature means that the only youth player not to have agreed a new deal with Espanyol is defender Alberto Lopo.

The youngster is widely coveted both in Spain and abroad, with Manchester United known to be amongst his admirers.

Talks between the player's agent Tente Sanchez and the club are continuing, though the youngster has stated a desire to remain with his hometown club.