BARCELONA

Barcelona want to re-sign City defender Eric García to replace Piqué

According to ESPN, the Manchester City defender is wanted back at Camp Nou as a long-term replacement for Gerard Piqué, but Pep Guardiola isn't keen.

Eric García, en un partido del City.
PHIL NOBLE REUTERS

Barcelona are looking to former La Masia prodigy Eric García as a long-term replacement for Gerard Piqué having sold the youngster to Manchester City in 2017 while missing out on the signing of Matthijs de Ligt last summer in a duel with Juventus. However, they will face resistance in the form of former Camp Nou boss Pep Guardiola, who rates the Spain under-21 international highly.

García is under contract at the Etihad until 2022 and City are working on a contract renewal to place him further out of the gaze of covetous glances from the Premier League and further afield. At the moment García is splitting his time between the development side and the seniors but it is instructive that at the age of 19 in a side not noted for handing youth players opportunities that he has represented Guardiola’s team six times in 2019-20. He has also appeared in the Champions League, the EFL Cup and the FA Cup.

Guardiola impressed with García

García departed Camp Nou in 2017 and has learned much of his trade under Guardiola, which ESPN report is what makes him so attractive to Barcelona, who believe he can slot in nicely with the team’s style of play and shares Piqué’s ability to bring the ball out from the back.

It is unclear what sort of cash would be required to lure García back to Catalonia with Barça intent on signing Lautaro Martínez in a deal that will probably cost €100m or more and looking to reinforce at the back on the cheap with Samuel Umtiti’s injury problems, Pique’s age (33) and a lack of cover at full back all issues to be resolved.