Eric Garcia has hinted that he is heading for a return to Barcelona, with one source reporting a deal has been agreed with the LaLiga giants.
The Manchester City defender is currently away with the Spain national squad as they face Greece, Georgia, and Kosovo in their 2022 World Cup qualification campaign. Spain boss Luis Enrique has shown faith in the 20-year-old, who has made just two Premier League starts this season. Garcia was put in front of the media on Tuesday at Spain’s training camp and was asked about his future.
The central defender has so far refused to pen a contract extension with Pep Guardiola’s men and then hinted a move back to Catalonia was on the horizon.
“I made the decision [not to renew] at that time, what I will do later I do not know. Now, I am focused on City and the national team,” said Garcia. Then he added: “Playing alongside Messi would be very special.
“He is the best in the world. Everyone would say that.
“We see week after week what he does and it is incredible.”
Garcia’s current deal at The Etihad expires this summer. He has been with the club since 2017 after leaving La Masia for Manchester.
A return to his home-town club Barcelona has been on the cards for some months. Barca could not agree a price with City last summer, but Sport, via Sport Witness says there is now a “full agreement “on the transfer.
City wanted €20m for Garcia which Barcelona were unprepared to pay, while a move in January was held up by Barcelona’s presidential election.
Barcelona will not make the official announcement until the summer, but the deal is set to be activated “in the coming weeks”.
Garcia will put pen to paper on a five-year deal after Ronald Koeman gave the deal the green light last summer.
There was rival interest in the defender with Chelsea and Arsenal keen on a move for Garcia. But the source claims the player was only interested in a return to the Camp Nou and so no talks were even staged with the London clubs.
Turnaround for Stones
Meanwhile, John Stones has attributed his return to form with City to the summer signing of one man.
Stones, back in the England fold, has been discussing a great season on a personal level. Himself, Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden all look good bets to make England’s European Championship squad. They all hope to do so on the back of winning four major honours with their club.
It all represents a huge turnaround for Stones. He appeared to be fading from the first-team picture when Pep Guardiola signed first Nathan Ake and then Ruben Dias. And it was the signing of the latter that prompted Stones to have a word with himself and help engineer his return to the England fold.
“I believe that as a club and a whole organisation we need to keep evolving and striving to be better,” he said.
“Those players coming in – and taking nothing away from them and how well they have done – it was added motivation to step up and prove my worth.
“I went away and did all the things that I needed to do. As a player, you can never rest when things are easy – everything is a challenge.”