Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola, has confirmed in a press conference, that Eric Garcia will join Barcelona in the summer transfer window.
The defender has been continually linked to the Catalans since the end of the 2019-20 season. With his contract set to expire this June, he will most likely be on his way to Spain for free. Guardiola in his interview, was full of praise for the youngster.
Affirming the links to Barcelona, Pep also spoke of Garcia’s quality: “Eric Garcia is going to play at Barcelona I think… Barcelona don’t buy players because they’re average, it’s because they’re top players.”
He then heaped more praise on the 20-year-old, referring to his form after project restart: “Maybe you don’t know, but you cannot imagine what Eric Garcia means to me. He is like a son. He was the guy during lockdown last season that was the best central defender that City had. He never made a mistake, not one mistake. He played in a UCL quarter-final.”
When Guardiola is so certain about a player’s ability, more often than not the player is worth his weight in gold. Garcia’s transfer to Barcelona has realistically only been a matter of time. The youngster came astonishingly close to joining in the January transfer window.
The club’s delicate financial position meant they would have to wait out the youngster’s contract to acquire him for free. All the current presidential candidates and interim president Carles Tusquets were heavily in favour of signing Garcia, but eventually thought shelling out instant cash was unnecessary.
The writing however, seems set in stone now. The former La Masia boy will return home in just a matter of months.
La Liga chief Javier Tebas talks summer transfers and fan return to stadiums
In a conference held by ADEA Forum (Association of managers and executives of Aragon) in Zaragoza, Javier Tebas spoke on a wide range of topics surrounding La Liga.
Mostly, the La Liga president spoke regarding the league’s bounce back from the pandemic and some potential plans for the league to restore public crowds. He also discussed the losses incurred, the summer transfers, among other things.
The Condition of La Liga
Tebas started the conference by claiming that the situation for the Spanish league is comparatively better than other leagues.
Speaking on this, he said, “The situation is worrying, but not so much. I think that of this pandemic the Spanish League is the one that is going to turn out less badly compared to the others.”
He then spoke about the losses incurred in Spanish football, with the net loss amounting to €1 billion by the 30th of September.
On the losses, Tebas said, “Of this billion, 750 have been financed by banks or investment funds, the latter the majority based in London, and the rest have been done by the clubs pulling their cash.”
Additionally, he mentioned that it was big clubs that were affected stronger than the smaller clubs, due to the huge loss of income from the lack of crowds, among other profitable economic activities that clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona enjoy above others.
A return for crowds to stadiums
When speaking on a return of crowds to stadiums, the La Liga chief seemed tremendously confident in their ability to host crowds as early as tomorrow. He claimed that they would have to run at between 20% to 30% capacity; nonetheless, the Spaniard was confident that teams would be more than capable of hosting crowds very soon.
Speaking on the same, he said, “There is a working group for the return [of fans] to the stadiums. I hope that in the last league games we can see the public in a proportional amount.”
Upcoming transfer window
Speaking on the summer transfer window, the president claimed that there will indeed be a lower amount of transfers as there were in the previous window. Tebas said, “They have already been lower in winter. There may be occasional and exceptional operations, but globally it will decrease. There will be exchanges of players. It’s going to be lower than last year.”
Accordingly, clubs are going to have to dig into their academy reserves more and more as the global and financial situations amend over time.