First published in the Manchester Evening Newshttps://i2-prod.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/article19124394.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/0_GettyImages-1276964123.jpg
Barcelona are considering a January move for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia.
Garcia, 19, has told City he will not extend his contract, which expires at the end of the season. He wants to return to Barcelona, and the Spanish side tried to sign him in the summer transfer window to make that happen.
However, City did not deem Barca’s bids acceptable, instead deciding that there was better value in keeping Garcia as part of their squad this season and losing him for free in the summer.
Now, though, new Barca boss Ronald Koeman has revealed that they could return with a bid for Garcia in January, which would allow City to recoup some money on Garcia rather than get nothing in June.
“There is a chance for sure that we are going to have another go for Garcia,” Koeman said.
“But right now I cannot know how the finances of the club are in January, so I have to wait and see.”
City COO Omar Berrada has explained why the club did not accept Barcelona’s offer, despite it being just £2m below their valuation of Garcia.
He explained: “Eric has developed into an important player for us and played some important games, especially in the last few months – semi-finals of the FA Cup, quarter-finals of the Champions League.
“He’s become a top young centre back who Pep trusts, and we feel that keeping him this season was worth more than what we were offered for him.
“We believe that he can add depth to the squad, and can be important in important games.
“This is a season that is going to be very difficult for the players, physically and mentally. It’s very congested, there will be a lot of pressure to play many games both in terms of club competitions but also the international games that they have to play, so it is all very concentrated and congested.
“We had a conversation with Barcelona about Eric Garcia. We were very clear from the outset of what we felt his valuation was and they weren’t able or willing to meet it so our decision was to keep him. We think he will be important for us this season.”