Barcelona Expected to Miss Out on Eric Garcia in January

Tom Gott
Nov 19, 2020, 9:45 AM GMT
Eric Garcia is likely to remain with Man City in January
Eric Garcia is likely to remain with Man City in January | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Manchester City are refusing to lower their asking price for centre-back Eric Garcia, who is now expected to have to wait until the summer before joining Barcelona.

The 19-year-old has rejected a new contract at City and is keen to join Barcelona when his deal expires at the end of the season. However, Barça have offered to speed the process along by paying to sign him in January instead of waiting to land him on a free in the summer.

Ronald Koeman is keen to land Garcia
Ronald Koeman is keen to land Garcia | Eric Alonso/Getty Images

City demanded around £18m for Garcia a few months ago, but Barcelona refused to pay so much for a player who will soon be available for free. They are believed to have lodged a take-it-or-leave-it bid of £7m, but Marca claim that City are having none of it.

City believe that Garcia is worth at least £18m and are adamant that they will only sell for a deal worth an initial £9m with an extra £9m in add-ons. They do not want to accept defeat, and Pep Guardiola is reluctant to weaken his squad in January.

As it stands, it seems like Garcia's move to Camp Nou will not be happening in January. However, the final decision will be left to the new president, who is set to be elected late in the winter transfer window.

Guardiola fears selling Garcia would weaken his squad
Guardiola fears selling Garcia would weaken his squad | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Even if they don't land Garcia, Barcelona are expected to sign a new centre-back in January. Ronald Koeman only has four senior options in the squad - Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti and Ronald Araujo - but Umtiti is out with yet another injury and is no longer seen as a reliable member of the first team.

As a result, loan moves for Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger, Roma's Federico Fazio, Fiorentina's German Pezzella and AC Milan's Mateo Musacchio and Arsenal's Shkodran Mustafi have all been explored, with Barca looking to add some more cover until they can land Garcia in the summer.

The plan is to find somebody who is available on a short-term loan for minimal cost, with any new signing not really expected to play unless injuries make it necessary.

Rudiger is on Barca's radar
Rudiger is on Barca's radar | Pool/Getty Images

It's a tactic Barcelona have often gone for in the past. In the second half of the 2018/19 season, Colombian defender Jeison Murillo and 'striker' Kevin-Prince Boateng made just four appearances each after being brought in as emergency cover.

As was the case with both of those players, the idea of a permanent move to Camp Nou for any of the potential loanees has been tentatively thrown out there, but the idea is almost certainly for somebody to simply fill the gap until Garcia arrives.

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