Spanish club Barcelona have confirmed the arrival of 20-year-old Eric Garcia on a free transfer from Premier League team Manchester City.
Garcia was born in Barcelona and came through the club’s academy before joining the Catalan side’s former manager Pep Guardiola at City in 2017.
However, he couldn’t find a consistent spot in the first team and with his contract expiring he has decided to return home.
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Barca confirmed the news on Tuesday morning, with Garcia signing a contract until 2026 with a release clause of €400 million.
He is the second signing Barcelona have made this summer, following his former team-mate Sergio Aguero from City on a free transfer.
Barca are widely expected to add Dutch duo Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay, although there are some reports suggesting that depends on the future of manager Ronald Koeman.
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The other three free transfers we expect Barca to make are rife with risk. The players are older and have injury problems.
However, at 20 Garcia represents tremendous value. He is widely seen as the eventual successor to Gerard Pique and could be a Barcelona player for 15 years.
It has the hallmark of when Barca brought Pique back from Manchester United, like that time Garcia will be a better player for his time in England.
If you have any doubt about this just consider what Guardiola said about Garcia in late April this year.
“There are players even who don't play any matches. I think, for example, of Eric Garcia who is one of my favourite players.
"I would love to have 15 Eric Garcias for the way he conducts his behaviour. He is always thinking of the team. He's always a good face in the good or bad moments. He helps the manager and the backroom staff all the time.
"He will go in an incredible team and when the people say they are unsatisfied if I don't play, I think of Eric.”
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