Pep Guardiola could reportedly have to concede defeat in his bid to keep Eric Garcia at Manchester City, with the Spaniard eager to return to Barcelona.

According to an exclusive report by The Sun, Eric Garcia has no interest in Pep Guardiola’s project at Manchester City. The 19-year-old centre-back has his heart set on returning to Barcelona and will resist any and every effort made by the Citizens to keep hold of him.

Eric Garcia joined Manchester City from Barcelona in the summer of 2017, when a pathway to the first-team setup at Camp Nou looked unclear. Upon joining the Premier League heavyweights, the teenage defensive prodigy has been integrated gradually in the senior side, making his debut in the 2018/19 season.

Since making his Manchester City bow, the 19-year-old has raked in a further 26 appearances for the Citizens, starting four games this season so far despite being a part of a stacked defensive unit. However, despite Guardiola making use of him quite regularly, it looks like Garcia has no interest in extending his stay at the Etihad.

The youngster’s contract with Manchester City will expire by the time next summer’s transfer window opens and has rejected a contract extension with the aim of returning to Barcelona. But, Guardiola recently claimed that he hopes to “seduce” the player to extend his stay with the club. Those hopes are set to be dashed now, as Garcia has his heart set on returning to Barcelona.

Garcia had been a priority for Barcelona in the summer transfer window, as the Blaugrana began their transition period after a disastrous 2019/20 campaign. The interest in the youngster made a great deal of sense as well, keeping in mind Samuel Umtiti’s injury woes.

While Gerard Pique is in the last stages of his career, Samuel Umtiti is no longer a reliable option for Barcelona. (Photo by Benjamin Cremel/AFP/Getty Images)

While Gerard Pique is in the last stages of his career, Samuel Umtiti is no longer a reliable option for Barcelona. (Photo by Benjamin Cremel/AFP/Getty Images)

On top of that, Gerard Pique is well into the twilight of his career and is evidently regressing, leaving Clement Lenglet and Ronald Araujo as the only other recognised centre-backs at Ronald Koeman’s disposal. Barcelona, therefore, made official bids to swoop Garcia away from Manchester City.

However, Manchester City remained determined to keep hold of the 19-year-old and rejected the Catalans’ approach several times. Now, though, City and Guardiola have been forced into a corner, with Garcia having no interest in the long-term project at the Etihad.

The report suggests that Garcia has made up his mind to return to Barcelona, either in the January transfer window or next summer, due to personal reasons. It now looks like Manchester City’s efforts to retain the services of the teenager have reached a dead end, with a return to Barcelona now appearing to be a formality.

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