Eric Garcia hints at Barcelona reunion with ‘great player’ Laporte

Nicholas Hughes
France boss Deschamps accuses Laporte of lying about new Spain allegiance

France boss Deschamps accuses Laporte of lying about new Spain allegiance

Barcelona new boy Eric Garcia has urged the club to bring Aymeric Laporte to the Nou Camp in the summer.

Currently playing alongside Laporte in the Spanish side at the Euros, the pair have got to know each other over the last two seasons at Manchester City.

And after signing for the Blaugrana on a free transfer, Garcia responded to questions from reporters in the Spain camp about rumours linking Laporte to the club.

“I don’t know. We haven’t talked about this. We are focused on the Euros, but if he comes to us, obviously he’s a great player,” he said.

Laporte sparked controversy by changing his allegiances from France to Spain just in time for Euros selection, making his debut for La Roja just 10 days before the side’s opening game to the tournament.

Aymeric Laporte had to make do with a reduced role at Man City

Laporte came through the academy at Athletic Bilbao, having been born and raised in French portion of the Basque region from which Bilbao fills its squad entirely.

Signing for City in January of 2018, Laporte has won three Premier League titles with the Citizens, but has only made 31 Premier League appearances in the last two seasons.

I never played less than this year. For me it’s very different, that is difficult to accept.
- Aymeric Laporte, The Independent

The first of those campaigns was impacted by a serious knee injury, but Laporte fell out of favour in Pep Guardiola’s team in the 2020/21 season, with the Spaniard preferring a rejuvenated John Stones and big summer signing Ruben Dias at the back.

That had left some people believing Laporte was unhappy at the club and would seek a move away from the Etihad, though the player himself rubbished those suggestions on Twitter.

On his own move, Garcia insisted there is no bad blood between he and Guardiola, who wanted to keep the 20-year-old, maintaining it was merely standard business.

“I only have good words towards Pep. He knew the decision of mine not to renew, he accepted it and we had no problem. I’m very grateful for what he’s done for me,” he said.