Eric Garcia to Barcelona: Why it could now happen in January

By Martin Macdonald

By Martin Macdonald

Updated 1:42 PM - January 13, 2021

Eric Garcia has agreed personal terms with Barcelona and could move from Man City in the January transfer window, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The 19-year-old is a product of Barca’s famed La Masia academy, but left in 2017 to join Man City where he initially featured in the youth teams, even captaining the u18s.

Garcia debuted for Pep Guardiola’s side in a League Cup match against Leicester in December of 2018, and since then began to make infrequent appearances for the first team.

At the turn of the year in 2019 into 2020, he was brought it to help with City’s hectic festive schedule, and from there became a more regular face in the team. After the first lockdown in the middle of the pandemic, he managed to usurp Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones as Pep Guardiola’s preferred defensive partner for Frenchman Aymeric Laporte.

However, following some interest from Barcelona, Guardiola would later confirm that Garcia had rejected a new contract with the club, with his current deal running out in the summer of 2021.

The Blaugrana subsequently attempted to sign him for a cut-price fee ahead of the 2020/21 campaign, but were unable to reach an agreement with the Premier League side.

As of 1 January, Garcia became free to talk to other clubs about a free transfer in the summer, and has already started his talks with his former club.

But, Barcelona are in the middle of a defensive crisis and want to complete a permanent deal in January.

According to Mundo Deportivo, the parties will agree on an initial €5m fee plus another €5m in instalments, which if decided upon could see Garcia feature for Barcelona in the second half of this season.

If a permanent deal can’t be reached in January, it seems more likely than not that Garcia will end up at the Camp Nou in the summer anyway.

Head coach Ronald Koeman has other targets in mind such as Gini Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay, who are both out of contract in the summer also and could be available in January.

However, due to the long-term injury to first-choice centre-back Gerard Pique, and Samuel Umtiti falling out of favour, the Dutchman has prioritised the acquisition of Garcia.

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