Barcelona intends to resume their pursuit of Manchester City defender Eric Garcia in January as they look to bolster their options at the back.
The Catalan giants were linked with Garcia all summer, with City manager Pep Guardiola confirming that the player was interested in the move and had refused to sign a new contract at the Etihad.
The Premier League club turned down a final offer worth around £9million upfront with a further £7.2m in add-ons, with City reportedly wanting a package worth £18m to sell the Spain international.
Barcelona are hopeful a deal can be done as Garcia is out of contract at the end of the season, meaning City might be willing to lower their demands rather than risk losing him on a free transfer next summer.
City boss Pep Guardiola said: ‘He wants to leave but maybe we can seduce him to extend his contract with us.’
Plans are in place to strengthen the Barcelona squad in the January window, despite the resignation of president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Tuesday.
According to ESPN, sporting director Ramon Planes and manager Ronald Koeman believe another centre back is needed at the Nou Camp, with Garcia seen as a long-term replacement for Gerard Pique.
Manager Ronald Koeman and sporting director Roman Planes are both in agreement that a centre-back is needed, with Gerard Pique now in the twilight of his career and Samuel Umtiti out of favour. That leaves Clement Lenglet and youngster Ronald Araujo as the only other centre-halves in the squad.
Garcia, a graduate of the famed La Masia academy, is not only seen as the heir to Pique in the club’s future, but they also see him as good enough to add competition to the squad immediately.
Guardiola has insisted that he hopes to convince the Spain international to extend his contract at the club beyond this season but it seems unlikely, especially considering the public admission from all parties in the summer.
Any deal in January would be subject to Barcelona’s new president signing off on the deal, following the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu earlier this week. According to club statutes, an election must be held within 90 days of Bartomeu’s resignation which means a new president should be in place in January at the latest.
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