Barcelona has been long linked to Eric Garcia. The center-back, born and brought up in La Masia, was very close to moving back to Camp Nou in the last two windows. However, according to Marca, there is a final twist in the contract details that the new board will propose.
With the change of reigns at Camp Nou offices, the board is looking to cut costs in order to ease the financial burden. Reportedly, Mateu Alemany has taken over as Sporting Director and has started to make decisions for the betterment of the overall structure of the club.
It has been reported in the past that Barça had agreed on a deal with the Catalan centre-back last year itself. However, the current board has made a slight twist which includes reducing the wage. This is a step taken to ensure financial stability which has only got worse due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just like several other Barça targets in the next window, Garcia will also be out of contract come June. Reports from England and Spain have always stated that he only has Barcelona on his mind. The 20-year-old had spent nine years at Barça’s youth academy before moving to Manchester in 2017.
The Catalan center-back also has a knack for leadership. He captained Barça’s youth team and then went on to captain City’s U-18 and U-19 teams in his first season. Pep Guardiola also rates the player very highly as he earlier said in a press conference that “Eric Garcia is like a son. He was a guy last season that after the lockdown was our best central defender. He never made a mistake and played in the quarter-final of the Champions League.”
In the same press conference Pep also cleared the air on his potential move to Barcelona.
“He’s going to play in Barcelona and that is not an average player – he is a top player. He was not selected in the last two games and it broke my heart. That is why it is difficult for all the managers when you have a squad. You cannot imagine what it means,” said the former Barcelona manager.
It will be interesting to see if Garcia will accept the diminished contract or not. Taking into consideration his sheer determination to return to his boyhood club, it is very unlikely that a wage reduction will be an issue for him.
Report: Barcelona accept defeat in pursuit of Inter Milan striker
According to reports from Corriere della Sera (relayed by SempreInter), Barcelona have now given up on their pursuit of Inter Milan striker, Lautaro Martinez. The 23-year-old has enjoyed a phenomenal season upfront with Romelu Lukaku, and he is a hot prospect in Europe. He has several skills that make him suited to a team like Barça, who have been chasing him for over a year now.
Inter were initially demanding northwards of €100m for the striker before the start of the 20/21 season. With their financial struggles, the Catalan club were unable to cope with their demands. However, the rumours linking Martinez to Barça did not die down in the months that followed. This is due to the Blaugrana’s dire need for a striker.
The Garnet and the Blue have been considering several options, with the Argentinian striker being only one out of a talented bunch including Aguero, Depay, Haaland, and more. Martinez was hotly tipped to join Barça, apparently wanting a union with his fellow Argentine teammate Lionel Messi.
However, with Inter’s meteoric rise to success, and Martinez’ key role in the team, it seems that he is no longer going to leave the club. The Milan based club is head and shoulders above all other teams in the Serie A, and look set to win their first title in eleven years.
The Argentine forward has played a huge part in Inter’s incredible campaign, scoring fifteen and assisting five in 30 matches this league campaign.
Antonio Conte has done a brilliant job with Inter, and he has also developed Martinez into a phenomenal striker; one who can both score goals as well as drop deep and create the play. With his immense pairing with Lukaku and the inevitable success of Inter, it seems impossible that a transfer is on the card for the young striker any time soon.