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Eric Garcia returns to Barcelona on free transfer after Manchester City contract expires

20-year-old defender returns to FC Barcelona after four years and has signed a five-year contract with the Catalan club.

Eric Garcia unveiled at Barcelona; Image credit: Twitter/FC Barcelona 116.5K Tweets See new Tweets FC Barcelona @FCBarcelona
By Sreejith C R | Jun 2, 2021 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

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FC Barcelona announced the signing of defender Eric Garcia from Manchester City. Thus, the Spain international returns to the Catalan club after spending three years at Manchester City. The 20-year-old couldn’t really establish himself in Pep Guardiola’s side. However, he is a highly rated defender in Spain. Barca see him as a potential long-term replacement for 34-year-old Gerard Pique. This was Barcelona’s second summer signing after unveiling Sergio Aguero on Monday.

Eric Garcia left for Manchester City at the age of 16 in 2017. Although he made just 19 Premier League appearances and 35 in all competitions for the Cityzens, he has played at all levels for Spain. Garcia has been picked in Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for Euro 2020 starting on June 11. His composure on the ball and ability to play out from the back are more suited for Barcelona’s philosophy.

After Garcia’s contract with Manchester City expires on July 1, he will officially become a Barcelona player. He has signed a five-year contract that will keep him at the Spanish giants till June 2026.

Comparisons with Gerard Pique

Garcia and Barca striker Ansu Fati are close friends and at his unveiling he revealed that he can’t wait to play in the first team with him.

“My dream was to play for Barca’s first team. Switching to the Camp Nou locker room today has been an immense joy. I already want the season to start. My dream is to win at Barca. I hope I can win the Champions League here.”

“I have a very close relationship [with Ansu] since he came to Barca as an under 12. We have stayed in contact since I left. I love the guy and we are huge friends. When we were little, we always said we’d play together one day at Camp Nou and I’m really looking forward to that finally happening.”

Garcia’s career path is similar to that of Pique, who left Barca for Manchester United as a teenager and returned to the Catalan Club after four years at the start of Barca’s dominance under Pep Guardiola. But the youngster rejected the comparisons with the veteran defender.

“Everyone likes to do that, I am only just starting out, while he has won everything and has been the best centre back of the last decade or so. We can’t be compared. I need to rise to his level.”

Barcelona, who are struggling with financial constraints are making some smart signings this summer. Aguero and Garcia arrived on a free transfer from Manchester City and Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is also expected to join them on free as his contract with the Reds is about to expire.



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