Eric Garcia is already speaking about his future at Barcelona in the buildup to Manchester City’s involvement in the Champions League final.
City will take on Chelsea for European club football’s top prize on Saturday night. If Garcia plays, it will be his last appearance for the club. He is out of contract next month and City have been unable to convince him to stay. Instead, he will be heading to Barcelona – as Pep Guardiola has already confirmed.
Garcia previously came through the youth ranks at Barcelona, before switching to City’s academy. He has taken his first steps in senior football in Manchester but is now ready to return home.
“Going back to Barcelona is a brave bet,” he told L’Esportiu (via Football Espana).
“I’ve thought about my future, what I think is the best [thing to do] and I’m convinced it’s the step I’ve taken.”
Garcia will follow in the footsteps of Gerard Pique, who was a Barca youth player before moving to Manchester to play for City’s rivals United early in his career, and then returning to the Catalan club.
The 20-year-old played down comparisons between himself and Pique. But he couldn’t resist taking aim at United in the process.
“Gerard has achieved everything. He’s one of the best centre-backs in the world,” he said. “The only possible comparison is this: we’re both from La Masia and we lived in Manchester. But he went to a not-so-good team.
“I’ve had more luck and have been able to play for the best team in Manchester, a pity for him.”
Another City defender ponders exit
City have enjoyed a dominant season and will be hoping to cap it off with Champions League success. But they could still face the prospect of losing some players this summer.
As well as Garcia, Sergio Aguero is out of contract and looks likely to join him at Barcelona. Fernandinho could also depart as a free agent and one of Garcia’s fellow defenders seems to be thinking about an exit too.
Aymeric Laporte became a key part of City’s defence after joining in January 2018. However, after a serious knee injury in August 2019, he has struggled to get back in the side.
The French-born Spain international has now cast doubt over his chances of staying at the Etihad.