Barcelona have being linked with a surprise œ3 million movefor Leeds United and Republic of Ireland left back Ian Harte.

The shock move for Harte comes in the wake of the club’s failure to sign Bayer Leverkusen’s Diego Placente.

Speuclation within the Catalan media suggests that Barce coach Louis Van Gaal has now switched his attention to Harte, a player who impressed the former Dutch national coach during Ireland’s World Cup qualifying campaign.

Although defensively suspect, Harte is a renowned dead-ball specialist and Van Gaal is understood to envisage the Irishman playing in an advanced wide midfield role.

The Leeds player would be available for £3million and with the Elland Road club still eager to reduce their debts, a move looks a distinct possibility.

New Leeds coach Terry Venables has been repportedly interested in signing Lazio’s full-back Juan Pablo Sorin, a move which casts doubt over Harte’s role at Ellland Road.