Manchester City are preparing a new contract for Eric Garcia, who FC Barcelona have named as one of their ‘priority’ summer signings, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Pep Guardiola’s Sky Blues are preparing to fight off interest from Barcelona this summer and lock down the highly-rated Garcia to a new deal, which would see the 19-year-old sensation earn an increased wage and be guaranteed a prominent role going forward.
Garcia has established himself in the Citizens first-team this season with 13 appearances during the Premier League campaign, along with outings in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup in which the Barcelona-born centre-half registered his first senior assist during a 3-0 win away to Preston North End.
Barcelona are said to be aware of Man City’s efforts to tie Garcia down with a new contract but are desperate to poach the young Spaniard as they see him as the heir to Gerard Pique, while having ongoing concerns over Samuel Umtiti’s future at the Camp Nou.
Umtiti has been weighed down with injuries throughout his time in Spain and with Pique now 33, Barcelona are keen to invest in their future by luring the 6ft defender back to the club following his time in their famed La Masia academy.
Garcia is one of the Catalan colossus’ priority targets for the summer but the La Liga runners-up are not prepared to rush into paying over the odds, and will either sign the rising star in the current window for a reasonable sum or wait until his current deal expires next year.
Barcelona are also muted as considering the potential of including players in the deal to take Garcia back to the Camp Nou, and feel Garcia knows his career is not destined to be played out only at the Etihad Stadium.
Will Garcia stay at the Etihad Stadium this summer?
Manchester City will naturally be hoping Garcia opts to put pen to paper on the new deal proposed rather than leaving England for a return to Spain, having become more established in Guardiola’s plans and having the potential to become a regular starter in the not-to-distant future.
The expected arrival of Nathan Ake from AFC Bournemouth could prove to be a tricky hurdle in negotiations, however, as the Dutchman would be arriving with a wealth of Premier League experience and would be the likely partner to Aymeric Laporte next term.
If the young Spaniard decides against accepting the terms proposed, it would be a risky game not to accept Barcelona’s advances this summer knowing that the Catalan side are willing to wait until the winter when the 19-year-old would be cheaper or offer him a pre-contract and sign Garcia on a free.