Pep Guardiola has admitted that Erik Garcia does not want to pen new terms at Manchester City, as the young defender nears a return to Barcelona.
The 19-year-old broke into the first team at the Etihad Stadium this season, making 24 appearances in all competitions. This included a run of four consecutive Premier League games at the end of the season.
Garcia is highly rated at Manchester City/Vision Haas/Getty Images.
Garcia is highly rated at City and the club have recently been looking to extend his contract – which currently expires next summer.
However, speaking ahead of the Citizens’ Champions League round of 16 second leg meeting with Real Madrid on Friday, Guardiola admitted the Spaniard has no intention of signing a longer contract.
“Eric Garcia doesn’t want to extend his contract with Manchester City. I think he wants to join another club,” he said (via Fabrizio Romano).
City offered Garcia the chance to quadruple his wages but the player appears to have turned his back on the prospect of a return to boyhood club Barcelona. He went through the venerable La Masia academy as a youngster, before opting to move to Manchester in 2017.
Pep Guardiola: “Eric Garcia doesn’t want to extend his contract with Man City. I think he wants to join another club. And his first choice is Barcelona. Talks are ongoing. ? #MCFC #Barcelona #transfers
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 6, 2020
Barca are looking for a new centre-back in the upcoming transfer window and have named Garcia as one of their top targets.
Although City would prefer him to stay, they do not want the defender to leave on a free transfer, so are likely to sanction his departure in the near future. Fees of between €15m and €20m have been reported in the past which would represent good value from Barcelona’s point of view.
Garcia’s early departure continues a recent trend of young players leaving town. Most notably, Manchester United target Jadon Sancho left for Borussia Dortmund in 2017, while Brahim Diaz was also poached by Real Madrid last season.