Eric Garcia will be at Barcelona next season, according to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
The 20-year-old Garcia featured on 20 occasions for Man City last season. Amid reports that he was pushing for a move to Camp Nou, however, he has rarely featured this time around.
Barca were reportedly seeking to sign him in January, but no deal was concluded.
Garcia is a free agent at the end of the season, however, and Guardiola has confirmed that he expects that Spaniard to return to his homeland. Previously, the Man City boss had said the player was likely to leave.
“He’s going to play in Barcelona and that is not an average player – he is a top player. He was not selected in the last two games and it broke my heart,” Guardiola confirmed.
The departure of the youngster promises to be a wretch for the manager.
“Eric Garcia is like a son. He was a guy last season that after lockdown was our best central defender. He never made a mistake and played in the quarter-final of the Champions League,” he said.
“That is why it is difficult for all the managers when you have a squad. You cannot imagine what it means.”
Garcia was a youth player at Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy but in 2017 made the switch to Man City.
Since moving to the Premier League side, he has turned out on 33 occasions for the club and made his Spain debut.
Barcelona had hoped to sign Garcia in January, but amid the club’s financial difficulties were unable to offer Man City a package that would entice them to sell.
Eric Garcia snapshot 2020/21
|TACKLES ATTEMPTED/WON P90||1.3/0.9|
|AERIAL DUELS ATTEMPTED/WON P90||3.4/1.3|
|DUELS ATTEMPTED/WON P90||6.4/3.3|
Is Eric Garcia good?
Eric Garcia has a Football Critic rating of 86, which places him in the best 30 centre-backs in the world.
However, he faces stiff competition at Manchester City. At the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola boasts Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Ruben Dias, all of whom are presently in the best 10 central defenders on current form in the world game.
Indeed, only Chelsea’s Thiago Silva is above Stones and Dias, the current starting partnership.
At Barcelona, the competition is not nearly so intense. Gerard Pique is rated as the 16th best in the game, but he is the only player on the Camp Nou side’s books presently rated better than Garcia.
Clement Lenglet and Oscar Mingueza are both in the top 50, however.
Should Garcia move to Barcelona, then, he could expect more first-team exposure than he presently enjoys under Guardiola at Man City.