Barcelona technical director Ramon Planes has spoken publicly about the club’s interest in signing Manchester City defender Eric Garcia to feed into a long-term vision of building a new squad.
While Garcia has been tipped to join Barça come what may by the summer of 2021 at the latest - when his City contract expires - Planes has expressed doubt over whether a deal will be possible this year.
In the circumstances, City are prepared to sell Garcia this summer if their asking price in the range of €15m (£14m) to €20m (£18.5m) is met. However, Barcelona are thought to have only offered €10m (£9.2m).
Garcia was born in Barcelona and sent nine years in the club’s famed La Masia youth setup before City took him to Manchester in 2017 at the age of 16. Should he return to Catalonia, it would be a story similar to those of Gerard Pique, Cesc Fabregas and Jordi Alba.
“It's true that we are looking for someone to help us in defence. Eric Garcia is a great player, made in Barcelona, who loves the club, but whether or not he can join depends on the market,” Planes explained to the media this week.
“The club's idea is to build a young side alongside players who have given a lot to the club. Eric has that profile,” the Camp Nou official added.
Planes was in front of the media to mark the formal unveiling of Miralem Pjanic as a Barcelona player, nearly three months after his transfer from Juventus worth up to €65m was confirmed.
The deal was conducted in coordination with Barcelona’s €72m – rising up to €82m – sale of Arthur Melo to Juventus in the opposite direction.
Pjanic, who won four Serie A titles and two Coppa Italias during four seasons in Turin, agreed a four-year contract with Barça and has been confirmed as the club’s new number eight. He inherits the jersey, made iconic by Andres Iniesta, from Arthur.