It seems that the Catalans are adamant on bringing Eric García back to the club but at the end of the day, it’s Pep Guardiola who is putting pressure on Barcelona’s transfer plans by trying hard to retain the young centre-back. Needless to say, this could make the operation that much more complicated for the Azulgranas.
But Barça still seem confident the operation is plausible, especially since the former La Masia talent has only one year left on his Manchester City contract.
Of course, back when the European ban was still on the table, the Catalans were sure they could get their player but now, everything seems a bit more tangled up.
Guardiola, however, is the one putting pressure on Barcelona’s transfer plans and if García ends up staying at the Etihad, it will undoubtedly be because of his intervention.
But there are other strategies they can employ in their pursuit. There were even various reports of a potential three-way swap deal: García and João Cancelo would go one way and Nélson Semedo the other. Of course, Barça value their right-back higher than Cancelo so a straight swap isn’t an option. But if Man City were to add more money on the side, that could potentially be used to secure García immediately after.
Whatever ends up happening, it seems that Barcelona are trying extremely hard to secure the signing of the young centre-back. Seeing how Jean-Clair Todibo is close to leaving the club and Gerard Piqué isn’t getting any younger, this doesn’t exactly come as a big surprise at all.
And with Samuel Umtiti refusing to leave even though he’s constantly injured and not playing regularly, that makes Clement Lenglet the only safe bet for the immediate future. García would indeed be a shrewd signing.
But Pep is also a big fan of the youngster and he won’t go down without a fight.
Official: Barcelona Lineup vs Real Madrid — Pedri replaces Griezmann on Right-wing
It is finally El Clasico time and Ronald Koeman has welcomed his first game against Real Madrid with three changes in the official lineup from the team that faced Ferencvaros in midweek.
The first of these changes comes in at left-back, where Sergiño Dest has been replaced by Jordi Alba, who was given the medical green light after recovering from the hamstring injury he suffered against Sevilla. His compatriot Sergi Roberto has been benched on the opposite flank with Dest taking that role. Neto will pick up the gloves with Marc-Andre ter Stegen still out from injury.
Mainstays Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet will continue as the centre-back pairing in the heart of the defence. The former will be hoping to continue his series of top-notch performances against Real Madrid from previous seasons.
𝓔𝓵 𝓒𝓵𝓪𝓼𝓲𝓬𝓸 𝓛𝓲𝓷𝓮𝓾𝓹 pic.twitter.com/8tRIJ4i5cs— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 24, 2020
In the midfield, Frenkie de Jong will start his sixth game of the season, but his partner from last week, Miralem Pjanic will be replaced by Sergio Busquets, as was indicative when he came on in the final minutes of the Champions League game.
Philippe Coutinho is the designated started in the attacking midfield as the mediapunta, and will look to continue his impressive start to the season with another goal contribution against Madrid.
The last of the three changes in the official lineup comes in the form of the right-wing, and probably the most shocking one as well, where Pedri takes up the slot ahead of the likes of Fransisco Trincão, Ousmane Dembele, and Antoine Griezmann.
Ansu Fati starts the game on the opposite flank as the left-winger, and will pick up his Player of the Month award for September before kick-off. Lionel Messi will be the final piece in this team, playing as a false 9 in attack.