Manchester City centre-back Eric Garcia is expected to join Barcelona as a free agent once his contract comes to a close this summer.
It was revealed last summer that Garcia had rejected the chance to sign a new contract with City as he has his heart set on a move to Camp Nou, where Barcelona have been trying to sign him ever since.
The Spanish side failed to strike a deal back then but remained open to doing business in January if City were prepared to lower their asking price – something Pep Guardiola has always refused to do.
Guardiola was asked about Garcia’s future during a press conference on Friday, but as he has always done, he suggested that City will try to refuse any offers to sell the 20-year-old this month, although he was not as definitive as he has been in the past.
“I hope not but maybe Barcelona knows better than me,” he said when asked whether a deal will happen. “I don’t know what’s going to happen but maybe it’s going to happen.”
Guardiola has been reluctant to offload Garcia this season as he wants to the Spaniard to stay and act as cover for his regular starters, despite the fact that refusing to sell will cost City some money.
Garcia is usually fifth in the pecking order behind John Stones, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake, but the latter two have been sidelined with injuries in recent weeks. Ordinarily, that would have opened the door to Garcia, but injuries and illness have kept him out since early December.
However, Guardiola clearly believes that keeping another senior centre-back at the club has its merits, and he has urged the club to reject Barcelona’s advances, but it could all come down to how hard Ronald Koeman’s side push for the deal.
Barcelona are not expected to do any real business until after their presidential elections, with will be held on January 24.