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Official: Barcelona's Eric García deal is off

Barcelona's presidential candidates have put a halt to a deal with Manchester City defender Eric García, who looked set to join the club this January.

It’s official. Eric García will not arrive at Barcelona this January.

The Manchester City player was the number one objective in the winter transfer market for Barça’s sporting direction but the lack of approval from the presidential candidates has put a halt to the operation, on which sporting director, Ramon Planes, had dedicated the past several months.

An agreement had been made with Garcia and progress was being made on a deal with Manchester City. However, somewhat surprisingly, the three candidates for the Barcelona presidency, Joan Laporta, Víctor Font and Toni Freixa, have blocked the signing of the Spanish defender, whose current contract at the Etihad expires in June.

The news comes after it was announced that the presidential elections, which were scheduled to take place next week, have been postponed until March 7.

Barcelona must wait to sign Eric García - Laporta

“We cannot give the seal of approval to the Management Board to make decisions,” Laporta revealed. “We have concluded that if he is a player that is due to finish his contract, we have to wait. Now we would have to play the transfer on top of the player’s salary.”

Despite Óscar Mingueza's decent performances, with Piqué's injury, Umtiti's chronic physical problems and Lenglet's current poor form, Barça had been forced to look for a central defender.

Sporting director Planes had agreed terms with García and his representatives as far back as October and was trying to reach an agreement with Manchester City in order to make the transfer financially viable so that the 21-year-old international could arrive this month -- five months ahead of his contract expiration date, when he could be picked up on a free.

But now that will not be possible due to the presidential candidates’ intervention and it remains to be seen what the player's reaction will be to Barça’s apparent disregard for him by pulling out at the last minute.