Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola spoke about Eric Garcia’s future after the club’s 3-1 victory over Porto in the Champions League.
The Spaniard started the game in defence ahead of John Stones alongside Ruben Dias helping his team pick up three points by keeping out the Porto forwards. With both Nathan Ake and Aymeric Laporte ruled out with injuries, Guardiola entrusted the defender by handing him a rare start yesterday.
“I know he wanted to leave but he’s going to stay and maybe we can seduce him in this year to extend the contract with us,” Guardiola commented on Eric Garcia after yesterday’s Champions League game. “He’s a guy who is so stable in many many things and we are so happy.”
Manchester City’s Chief Operating Officer Omar Berrada had commented on why the club had refused to sell Eric to Barcelona, despite Barcelona’s first bid being so close to their valuation of the player.
“Eric has developed into an important player for us and played some important games, especially in the last few months – semi-finals of the FA Cup, quarter-finals of the Champions League.
“He’s become a top young center-back who Pep trusts, and we feel that keeping him this season was worth more than what we were offered for him. We believe that he can add depth to the squad, and can be important in important games.
“This is a season that is going to be very difficult for the players, physically and mentally. It’s very congested, there will be a lot of pressure to play many games both in terms of club competitions but also the international games that they have to play, so it is all very concentrated and congested.
“We had a conversation with Barcelona about Eric Garcia. We were very clear from the outset of what we felt his valuation was and they weren’t able or willing to meet it so our decision was to keep him. We think he will be important for us this season.”
Garcia was a product of Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy, for a period of nine years before moving to Manchester in 2017.
Barcelona are still huge admirers of the defender and had made Garcia their top priority in their transfer list, but both clubs failed to reach an agreement before the deadline and Garcia was forced to stay with City.
However Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman admitted that they were still interested in the youngster and could return to make a bid again in January, “There is a chance for sure that we are going to have another go for Garcia. But right now I cannot know how the finances of the club are in January, so I have to wait and see.”
With Garcia’s contract expiring in the summer, City have a tough task on their hands to try and convince the youngster to sign an extension. If the youngster denies signing a contract once again, City will try and sell him in the January transfer window to recoup some compensation instead of losing him for free over the summer.