Pep Guardiola has admitted that Eric Garcia does not want to pen new terms at Manchester City, as the young defender edges closer to a return to Barcelona.
The 19-year-old broke into the first team at the Etihad Stadium this season, making 24 appearances in all competitions. This included a run of four consecutive Premier League games at the end of the season.
Garcia is highly rated at City and the club have recently been attempting to extend his contract – which currently expires next summer.
However, speaking before the Citizens’ Champions League round of 16 second leg meeting with Real Madrid on Friday, Guardiola admitted that the Spaniard has no intention of signing a longer deal.
“Eric Garcia doesn’t want to extend his contract with Manchester City. I think he wants to join another club,” he said (via Fabrizio Romano).
City offered Garcia the chance to quadruple his wages but the player appears to have had his head turn by the prospect of returning to boyhood club Barcelona. He came through the revered La Masia academy as a youngster, before opting for a move to Manchester in 2017.
Barça are on the lookout for a new centre-back in the upcoming transfer window and they have earmarked Garcia as one of their top targets.
Although City would prefer he stayed, they do not want the defender to depart on a free transfer so are likely to sanction his departure in the near future. A fee of between €15m and €20m has been reported in the past which would represent good value from a Barcelona perspective.
Garcia’s imminent departure continues a recent trend of young players opting to depart City. Most notably, Manchester United target Jadon Sancho left for Borussia Dortmund in 2017 while Brahim Diaz was also poached by Real Madrid last season.