Eric Garcia, the 20-year-old Spanish defender is yet to agree to new terms with Manchester city as his current contract expires this summer. The Spaniard has been linked with a move to several clubs across Europe but Garcia has agreed to personal terms with Barcelona and looks set to join the Catalans in the summer transfer window of 2021.
Unfortunately for the Premier League side, Eric is a La Masia student and his heart is set on returning to Barcelona. The 20-year-old centre-back’s contract will be coming to an end this summer and will be free to walk away and join Barcelona next summer as a free agent.
The Catalan club, let it be known that they were offering a package worth £18million to City, roughly split into £10million upfront and £8million in add-ons.
Why Barcelona need him?
The club never really found a replacement for Puyol which led Mascherano filling in for that aggressive ball recovering centre-back position. Puyol managed to play intelligent football with the club under different managers and won trophies with Barcelona fulfilling his lifelong dream.
But, after him, the club has brought in many players like Todibo and Yerry Mina who struggled to make an impact in that role because they did not have the Barcelona DNA.
Barcelona’s defensive line needs serious ball player’s like Garcia who has the club mentality and can perform at the top level with the same intensity, who holds the club very dear to his heart and will give it his all to see his team win.
He has similar physical and mental attributes of Javier Mascherano something which Barcelona needs at this point.
What Koeman thinks?
The La Liga giants have recovered from a shaky start to the season under the Dutchman and now lie third in the table. The club, however, remains in a perilous financial position after their finances suffered following the coronavirus pandemic.
Koeman was desperate to strengthen his defense this month with a move for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia. He is adamant his Barcelona side needs urgent strengthening – but has strongly suggested moves for two targets look like a no-go this month. “My position is known: we lack people, but the economic situation of the club is an influence,” Koeman said.
“I think we all think the same. If no one arrives, I accept it and we continue the same, but if we want more we must sign.”
Why Manchester City opted not to sell him in 2020?
City’s stance is that they had already reached the rock-bottom price they were willing to accept, having already lowered the asking price to accommodate a deal. Now, even if City have injury or form problems among their central defenders, Garcia is another reliable body.
In a season in which we are already seeing the effects of a late and disrupted pre-season, through injuries and shock results, they believe that extra body could be very useful.
The ongoing problem of squads losing players due to positive Covid tests, and injuries due to lack of proper preparation and too many games in too short a time, means squads may be tested like never before.
Eric Garcia’s presence could even free up Nathan Ake to lend a hand in the one area of the field the Blues did not strengthen, when the need seemed evident, at left-back. His personality also came into the reckoning. For one so young, he is a total professional, and Pep Guardiola knew that there would be no response from him other than to re-double his efforts to help the squad improve.
With Barcelona’s noteworthy long standing stalwart, Gerard Pique sidelined throughout a major part this season which only added to the continuous troubles the club has faced with their backline. An addition to the Barcelona defense for next season will not only add depth to the squad but the fact that Eric Garcia is a La Masia product will automatically give confidence to the club that he will be a good fit within the squad.