Transfer News: Barcelona closing in on the signing of Eric Garcia

Barcelona are close to completing the signing of Eric Garcia from Manchester City, with the deal ready to be announced this week.

According to a report from Spanish publication Sport, Barcelona have resumed transfer talks with Manchester City regarding the transfer of Eric Garcia, with the deal tipped to be completed in this week.

Garcia joined Manchester City at the age of 17, moving from none other than Barcelona themselves. A huge catalyst in this transfer was club legend and compatriot Carles Puyol, who is Garcia’s agent and a close friend of Pep Guardiola.

Despite the early move, the Spaniard was unable to make his Premier League debut until the 2019/20 season, featuring for 20 minutes in the 8-0 thrashing of Watford. He has since gone on to make 13 league appearances including eight starts and was a crucial part since Project Restart.

Garcia may have only received his big breakthrough this season, but he has been knocking on Pep’s door for a couple of years now and had featured in the Carabao Cup last year against Leicester City, and Burton Albion. He was also part of the starting XI which became the victim of their Champions League quarter-final exit against Olympique Lyon.

His performances this season have caught the eye of Barcelona who were always hesitant to sell him in the first place, but forced to when the player felt he had better chances under Guardiola. Now that the manager has just one year left on his contract, and his future in question, it is understandable why Garcia is hesitant to stay.

Barcelona will be undergoing a considerable rebuild in the next few transfer windows with all but seven players (Lionel Messi, Nelson Semedo, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Clement Lenglet, Frenkie de Jong) on sale according to Josep Bartomeu.

The first steps towards this rebuild have already been made with the sacking of Quique Setien and Eric Abidal from the roles of first-team coach and sporting director respectively. The Blaugrana have also hired a new manager in Ronald Koeman who joins the club after his excellent stint at the Netherlands national team. Neither of the decisions so far have halted their decision to bring in Garcia.

Gerard Pique is at the last juncture of his career at the age of 33 and has never hinted for an elongated stay in the world of football, anyway. Moreover, he offered to sacrifice his position in the team for the sake of the club in the post-match interview following the embarrassing 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich.

Having played in the Barcelona youth system for multiple years, Eric Garcia will not have to do a lot to fit into the team, and at the age of 19, could serve as an ideal long-term replacement for Pique, who will go down as a club legend.

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