Manchester City want to open contract negotiations with defender Eric Garcia to ward off interest from Barcelona, report the Daily Mail.
It is said that there are many high-profile individuals at the English champions who rate the defender extremely highly and believe he can be a first-team regular for years to come.
It follows a report this week in Diario Sport which claimed the central defender is now into the final 12 months of his contract at the English champions, rather than the deal ending in 2022 as originally reported and as such Barcelona were in ‘control’ of his future.
That report drew the parallels between Garcia and that of Gerard Pique – who left La Masia’s youth academy due to mismanagement and joined Manchester United, before returning to the Camp Nou and enjoying a long and distinguished career at the club.
The 19-year-old arrived at City from the Blaugrana’s youth system in 2017 but despite defensive shortages at Pep Guardiola’s side, he has not enjoyed a lot of first-team action.
He has featured in just 11 games this season and started only twice in the Premier League, while he could prove to be a long-term successor to Pique at Barcelona.
This follows on from reports in ESPN, which claimed Barcelona’s initial enquiry had been rejected by the English champions, who plan to offer him a more prominent first-team role next season in the hope of agreeing a new contract.
“Playing behind closed doors – for us – is not much different to the games being cancelled.” – Find out who said this right here.