Barcelona have been left fuming, with reports emerging that their best defensive prospect in the academy, Eric Garcia is set to sign for Manchester City.
According to an exclusive report from Spanish publication Sport, Barcelona are set to lose another one of their academy wonderkids. Eric Garcia, who is widely hailed as one of the best defensive prospects within the La Masia setup, is reportedly on his way out of the club and is set to join Manchester City.
Eric Garcia is a 16-year-old defender who can play both as a centre-back and a right-back, with the central defence his preferred position. The player is one of the best talents in the academy and is already an Under-17 international with Spain, winning the Euro Under-17 Championship with the nation.
That the player was one of the youngest players in the squad is a further testament to his present ability and future potential. Garcia is often compared to Gerard Pique and is tipped to have a similarly successful career.
Garcia’s agent, though, has informed the club that the player will not be renewing his contract despite a renewal being put on the table by Barcelona and will instead be moving to Manchester City to continue his development under Pep Guardiola.
Manchester City are set to sign one of Barcelona’s brightest prospects, centre-back Eric Garcia (16) on a three year deal. [SPORT] pic.twitter.com/T5BvIMnLjI
— City Watch (@City_Watch) June 15, 2017
This comes as a huge blow to Barcelona, who had earmarked the player as a future first-team superstar. Garcia will now earn over €1 million in a three-year deal at the club. The player will be a perfect fit in the future for Guardiola’s playing system.
Garcia’s ability to bring the ball out the back and composure matched with his presence in set-pieces will be an asset for the Citizens, should he make the cut.
Barcelona themselves have underlying troubles in the defence. The Catalans have just Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti as the recognised quality options at the back, with Javier Mascherano and Jeremy Mathieu set to leave Nou Camp in the summer.
The La Liga runners-up have completed the signing of Marlon Santos on a permanent basis. However, they would need a similar replacement for Gerard Pique in the long scheme of things. Garcia was being eyed by the club as the true successor to Pique.
Barcelona are furious with the developments, especially with Manchester City previously tailing a trio of their academy prospects as well. But, Garcia is now resigned to leave and the Catalans would only hope the player grows into a superstar to return to the club, like many others have done.