Barcelona have been given a boost in their bid to bring 19-year-old defender Eric Garcia back from Premier League side Manchester City.
Citizens boss Pep Guardiola has offered an update on the center-back and revealed he does not want to sign a new contract at the Etihad Stadium, according to Joe Shread at Sky Sports.
“He announced to us that he doesn’t want to extend his contract with Manchester City. He has one more year and after that, he doesn’t want to extend. We want it but he doesn’t want to, so I imagine he wants to play in another place.”
Garcia is a product of Barcelona’s famous La Masia youth academy but left the club for the Etihad Stadium in 2018. The teenager has made 19 appearances for Manchester CIty in 2019-20, although eight of his outings have come since the season restarted in June.
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Garcia is Barcelona’s Top Defensive Target
Guardiola’s comments will be welcomed at the Camp Nou, as Garcia is the club’s top target to strengthen their defensive this summer, according to Lluis Miguelsanz at Sport.
The teenager has already decided he wants to come home and his signing is now “a question of when it will happen, not if,” according to Miguelsanz. Barca will try to negotiate with City but could leave the deal until next summer when Garcia will be a free agent.
Barcelona want to have four central defenders in their squad for next season and are planning on the quartet being Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Barcelona B’s Ronald Araujo and Garcia.
What Next For Garcia?
Manchester City look destined to lose their teenage defender before the close of the transfer window this summer, otherwise they will be forced to watch him walk away for free when his contract expires next year.
The Premier League club value Garcia at €23 million ($27m)plus variables and do not want to sell for less than his market value, according to journalist Pol Ballús.
Yet Barcelona are suffering financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic and need to sell players before they buy, according to Miguelsanz. The Catalan giants could therefore look to include players in any potential deal in an attempt to reduce the asking price.