Pep Guardiola and Manchester City are confident young Spaniard Eric Garcia will remain at the club this summer despite reported interest from Barcelona.
Garcia left La Masia for Manchester in the summer of 2017 for a £1.5m fee and after making his first team debut in the EFL Cup last season, he’s become a fixture in the Citizens defence following the Premier League’s resumption last month.
His impressive form alongside Aymeric Laporte at the heart of the City backline has caught the eye of former club Barcelona – with reports in Spain even suggesting the 19-year-old is in favour of a return to Catalonia and has already agreed personal terms.
It would be a flagrant breach of FIFA rules, however, if Garcia has agreed to terms with the Catalans, as there has been no approach to City and the Sky Blues are set to offer the talented teenager a bumper new deal in a bid to keep him at the club.
Guardiola, meanwhile, is confident Garcia will remain in Manchester for the long-haul.
“I am confident he will stay but at the end, it is his decision. He knows we want him but it is the same with Leroy [Sane],” he said, as quoted by Manchester Evening News.
“We want him but if he doesn’t want to stay we cannot do anything else. He knows, his agent knows, his family knows that we want him.”
Garcia has just one year left on his current City deal and if he does indicate that he wants to leave, City would be forced to sell to avoid losing him on a free – it’s a similar situation to Sane, who recently departed the Etihad for Bayern Munich in a £54.8m deal with just a year remaining on his contract at City.
And speaking about any potential Barcelona interest, Guardiola added: “If they want him they must call him and we are going to try to convince him to stay here for many, many, many years.”