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Transfers

Barcelona in 'advanced' talks for Eric Garcia January deal

Grey Whitebloom
Eric Garcia is reportedly poised to make his return to Barcelona in the upcoming transfer window
Eric Garcia is reportedly poised to make his return to Barcelona in the upcoming transfer window / Pool/Getty Images
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Manchester City centre-back Eric Garcia is one of Barcelona's primary targets for the upcoming January transfer window, with the Catalans pushing to complete a deal before the summer.

Garcia moved from Barcelona's youth team to Manchester City in the summer of 2017. The 19-year-old made his senior debut in English football at the start of the 2019/20 campaign before earning a sustained run in the side during the Premier League's 'Project Restart'.

Eric Garcia started five of Manchester City's final seven Premier League games at the end of last season
Eric Garcia started five of Manchester City's final seven Premier League games at the end of last season / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Yet, before the season had even concluded, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola revealed that Garcia would not be extending his contract at the club - which expires in June 2021. Garcia later confirmed these suggestions and a move back to Barcelona was heavily touted during the summer, with the Catalan giants said to have agreed an €18m transfer fee.

However, a deal never materialised and Barcelona have once again made Garcia a priority in January according to the Spanish publication Sport. Negotiations between the club and player are thought to be advanced, with Garcia able to sign a pre-contract agreement from New Year's Day given his contractual status at City.

If and when Garcia signs the agreement, talks between the clubs can be rekindled as Barcelona are keen on bringing the teenager back to Catalonia this winter, rather than waiting until the summer when he would be available on a free transfer.

As recently as late November, it was reported that Barcelona would miss out on Garcia in January because City refused to lower their asking price and were unwilling to consider the £7m offered by Ronald Koeman's side. Given Barcelona's eye-watering wage bill, the behemoths of Spanish football are in a precarious financial position to say the least and are tipped to get creative with the payment.

Sport suggests that if City do let Garcia leave in January, Barcelona will try and structure a deal which sees them pay 'very little' and at the end of the season. Garcia is thought to be intent on returning to Spain even though City are offering better terms than his previous (and possibly future) employers.

City could sign off on an agreement which would earn them a percentage of any potential future fee for Garcia or a deal flush with add-ons. Yet, however creative the accounting may be, nothing will be confirmed before the interim board currently in situ at Barcelona is replaced by the new president of the club, with elections scheduled for 24 January.

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