Real Madrid have joined their rivals Barcelona in the hunt for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia, according to a report.
Garcia has already confirmed his intentions to leave Man City at the end of the season. The club wanted to give him a new contract, but Pep Guardiola says the defender has turned their offers down.
It had been thought that Garcia would return to Barcelona at the end of the season. He previously came through their academy before joining City in 2017.
Garcia is now keen to return to his hometown club, who can sign him for free at the end of the campaign. However, they could bring forward their negotiations and pay a transfer fee to sign him in January.
Reports have suggested that Barca could offer just £7m to acquire Garcia’s services. If City are to consider a sale mid-season, though, they will likely have to bid higher than that.
What’s more, there is now a new contender for the 19-year-old. According to Diario Sport, Real Madrid have added him to their shortlist.
The La Liga champions are bracing themselves for a possible departure of Sergio Ramos. Their captain is out of contract at the end of the season, and there has been little progress with a renewal.
Ramos’ wage demands are too high for Madrid to commit to again, as they are currently trying to cut costs. Therefore, they have set up a list of alternatives.
Madrid eye Garcia or Torres
The first player they may look to sign if Ramos leaves is Villarreal defender Pau Torres. The Spanish international has a high asking price at €50m, but Madrid think they can lower the fee to €30m due to their good relationship with Villarreal.
Their plan B, though, is Garcia. Madrid know it will be hard to convince him to snub Barcelona in favour of them, but his lower market value could give them an opportunity.
The report adds that City are asking for €23m to let Garcia go in January. That fee is a lot higher than what Barca are reportedly prepared to offer, so Madrid could feasibly swoop in.
David Alaba is another option for Madrid, but given that his wage demands are similar to Ramos’, that seems unlikely. Besides, the Spanish giants are focusing on someone with a younger profile, such as Torres or Garcia.