Man City set for talks with Barcelona to sign former Guardiola pupil

Samuel Bannister

Manchester City have reignited their interest in Sergi Roberto, according to reports, but they may lose Eric Garcia as part of a deal with Barcelona.

City have been interested in Barcelona versatility man Roberto for some time. Pep Guardiola gave him his senior debut at Barca a decade ago, and could be eyeing a reunion.

Originally a midfielder, Roberto has become a right-back in recent years. It’s a position City could be looking to strengthen, after Joao Cancelo didn’t quite live up to expectations in his first season.

According to Diario Sport, City are willing to pay a “high price” for Roberto, whom they prefer to Nelson Semedo, the other right-back Barcelona have spoken to them about.

It may not be so straight-forward, though. Barcelona also prefer Roberto to Semedo, with both players’ contracts expiring in two years.

La Masia graduate Roberto wants to stay at Camp Nou, but if City make an offer, he may have no option. Barcelona need to raise funds and will probably sacrifice one of the right-back duo.

Barca are keen to renew Roberto’s contract, but Sport claim that City are prepared to offer him higher wages in an effort to convince him to move.

City to sacrifice Garcia?

Pep Guardiola Eric Garcia Manchester City TEAMtalk

To sweeten the deal, City could send Eric Garcia in the opposite direction. Guardiola has shown faith in the young centre-back recently, but with less than a year left on his contract, Garcia is hoping for a return to Catalonia.

The 19-year-old spent nine years in Barca’s academy before joining City in 2017. Garcia would like to return to his hometown club, even though City remain hopeful that he will sign an extension.

Garcia has made 19 appearances for City this season. Eight of those came after the re-start in June.

Sport say further talks between Barcelona and City will take place after the conclusion of the Champions League in August. Both clubs are still in the competition and want to avoid any distractions.