Barcelona Agree Fee With Manchester for Eric Garcia

Sep 21, 2020, 11:15 AM GMT+1
Eric Garcia
Garcia is verging on a move to Barcelona | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images
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Barcelona and Manchester City have agreed on a €18m (£16.5m) fee for Eric Garcia, although a deal is not likely to be rubber-stamped until the English club sign a new central defender.

Catalan-born Garcia blossomed into an important player for City last season, emerging from the academy to offer Pep Guardiola some much-needed relief in the centre of defence. He made 20 senior appearances, starting eight times in the Premier League, and at just 19, he looks set for a highly promising career.

He will not fulfil his potential at the Etihad, however, after Guardiola admitted last month that the youngster will not sign a new contract in Manchester. His decision to spurn the club's advances have left them in an awkward position, and they have seemingly decided to sell now, rather than lose him for free in 12 months time.

Spanish journalist Albert Rogé reports that Barca, who let Garcia slip through their fingers as a 16-year-old, are now poised to complete an €18m deal. City, however, will not finalise proceedings until they have replaced him, having experienced first-hand what a lack of available centre-backs can do to a title challenge last season.

Outside of Garcia, City have Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Aké available in addition to John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi, but the latter duo aren't trusted. Laporte's previous long-term injury, meanwhile, inspires caution, and Guardiola's side are keen to sign another reliable centre-back before they let anyone go.

90min learned over the weekend that they have not yet given up hope on Kalidou Koulibaly, who they are desperate to sign despite Napoli's £70m asking price. They won't be drawn into a bidding war over the Senegal captain, however, and have been looking at alternatives.

On Sunday, reports emerged claiming that Sevilla had rejected a bid in the region of £50m for Jules Koundé.

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