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Manchester City centre back Eric Garcia ‘to sign five-year contract at Barcelona’

Eric Garcia ‘to sign five-year contract at Barcelona’ and will become FIRST signing in new era under president Joan Laporta… with Manchester City centre back insisting it would be ‘very special to play alongside Lionel Messi’

  • Man City defender Eric Garcia looks set to join Barcelona in the coming months 
  • The 20-year-old has decided not to extend his current contract at the Etihad
  • A return to Barca for the academy graduate Garcia has long been in the pipeline
  • He is set to be Joan Laporta’s first signing since he took over as club president  

Eric Garcia is reportedly set to sign a five-year deal at Barcelona with the Manchester City centre back unwilling to sign a new deal at the Etihad.

The 20-year-old, who left Barca for City back in 2017 after nine years in the club’s La Masia academy, has struggled to play first-team football consistently this season, with Ruben Dias, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte ahead of him in the pecking order. 

The Spanish international has long been linked with a return to the Camp Nou and new club chief Joan Laporta will seal the deal in April, according to Spanish outlet SPORT, in what will be his first signing since he won the presidential election earlier this month.  

The 20-year-old will become the first signing under Barca president Joan Laporta in his second term in charge at the Camp Nou

Eric Garcia (L) looks set to become the first signing in Barca president’s Joan Laporta’s new era

The front cover of SPORT newspaper in Spain claims Garcia will join Barcelona this summer

The front cover of SPORT newspaper in Spain claims Garcia will join Barcelona this summer

Within the report, Garcia talks to members of the Spanish press whilst on international duty this week, ahead of Spain’s World Cup qualifiers against Greece, Georgia and Kosovo. 

The defender talks about his imminent return to Barcelona, including the prospect of playing alongside Lionel Messi even though the Barca skipper’s contract expires in the summer. 

‘It would be very special to play alongside Messi because he’s the best footballer in the world,’ Garcia said. 

‘We see week after week what he does and it’s incredible.’ 

He added that his relationship with City boss Pep Guardiola had not deteriorated despite not committing his future to the club and added that he is in contact with Barca’s teenaged superstar Ansu Fati. 

Garcia says it'd be special to play with Lionel Messi (R) and he keeps in touch with Ansu Fati (L)

Garcia says it’d be special to play with Lionel Messi (R) and he keeps in touch with Ansu Fati (L)

‘I took the decision [not renewing City deal] in that moment, what I will do later I don’t know, right now I’m focused on Man City and the national team,’ Garcia said. 

‘My relationship with Pep is the same as before I took my decision. I have a contract and I’m focused on City, if the coach thinks it’s time for me to play. I understand that he isn’t making many changes because the players (in the team) are at an incredible level…

‘I like teams that bring the ball out from the back and press as much as possible. Barca are one of those and there are others. 

The 20-year-old insists his relationship with City boss Pep Guardiola (pic) has not deteriorated

The 20-year-old insists his relationship with City boss Pep Guardiola (pic) has not deteriorated 

‘They’re having a very good moment, the coach [Ronald Koeman] is backing the youngsters and that’s good for them.

‘(Ansu and I) have known each other all our lives and when we talk we don’t talk about football, hardly at all. Now he’s recovering and he knows I’ll help him in any way I can.’   

Garcia has made just 10 appearances in all competitions for City this season, which include four Premier League games. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk