Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Eric Garcia has turned down a deal to extend his stay at Manchester City, the defender having been linked with a move to Barcelona.
The Barcelona born centre-back has been linked with a return to his hometown club in recent weeks, the defender having come through the Catalan club’s famed La Masia academy before moving to Man City in 2017.
The 19-year-old has become a regular part of City’s first-team squad this year, making 13 Premier League appearances, including eight starts, becoming a regular feature in defence following football’s restart in June.
His performances have alerted the attentions of his old club, and speaking ahead of Friday’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Real Madrid, Pep Guardiola confirmed that the teenager had turned down the chance to extend his deal, which currently has one year left to run.
“He told us that he doesn’t want to extend his contract with Manchester City, so he has one more year,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference. “We wanted it but he doesn’t want to extend. I imagine he wants to play in another place.”
Despite the prospect of losing him for free next season, Man City aren’t prepared to lose Garcia on the cheap, with the Guardian reporting they will still not sell the youngster for less than £30 million.
They say that they would accept a structured deal, wanting an initial £20m from any potential buyers plus a further £10m in add ons.
Despite Garcia’s head seemingly being elsewhere, the report adds that he is still ‘in contention’ to feature against Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid side on Friday as City look to progress to the Champions League mini-tournament in Lisbon later this month.