Barca 'hoping to announce Garcia pre-contract agreement in January'

Barcelona ‘hoping to announce pre-contract agreement with Eric Garcia in January’ with defender’s Man City deal ending next summer… while Ronald Koeman’s side continue to weigh up move for Memphis Depay

  • Reports claim Barcelona will pursue the free signing of Eric Garcia in January
  • The Manchester City defender’s contract expires in the summer of 2021
  • Garcia – who came through La Masia – can speak to other clubs from January 1
  • Barcelona could also move for Lyon captain Memphis Depay next month

Cash-strapped Barcelona hope to announce the free summer signing of Manchester City’s Eric Garcia during the January transfer window, according to reports in Spain.

The 19-year-old defender’s contract with City expires on June 30 next year meaning he is eligible to speak to clubs regarding a pre-contract agreement from next week.

Garcia has failed to negotiate a new contract with the Premier League club and Pep Guardiola confirmed last season that the teenage defender had no intention of extending his stay at the Etihad Stadium.

Barcelona will reveal the pre-contract signing of Eric Garcia in January, according to reports

Man City boss Pep Guardiola (above) announced last season that Garcia will leave in 2021

And according to Mundo Deportivo, the Spanish giants want to confirm the free signing of Garcia in early January while they will also contemplate sealing another pre-contract agreement with Lyon forward Memphis Depay. 

Barcelona were interested in bringing in Depay during the summer transfer window just gone, but the report claims the Catalans needed to sell a player to comply with LaLiga’s salary restrictions.

Winger Ousmane Dembele was earmarked as one potential departure from the Nou Camp but a summer move failed to materialise. 

Barcelona are struggling financially, having been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and a massive squad wage bill, not bolstered by fans attending games. 

Garcia came through the Barcelona academy (above) before joining Man City in 2017

Barcelona could sign Lyon captain Memphis Depay (above) in the January transfer window

Phillipe Coutinho is another player who could be moved on by the Spanish giants while Barcelona would also sanction loan moves for Junior Firpo, Samuel Umtiti and Riqui Puig. 

Yet Barcelona are still tempted to sign Depay during the January transfer window for a £5million fee, especially with PSG and Juventus monitoring the Dutchman’s availability.

However, the recent form of striker Martin Braithwaite at the Camp Nou means Barcelona may wait until the summer before bringing in Depay on a free. 

Braithwaite scored in three consecutive matches in late November and early December – against Dynamo Kiev, Osasuna and Ferencvaros – while he also found the net in the Catalans’ most recent league game against Valladolid. 

The rise in form of Martin Braithwaite (left) means Depay’s signing may wait until the summer

Braithwaite has five goals in 15 matches in all competitions for Ronald Koeman’s side this season, while Depay has eight goals in 17 games for French league leaders Lyon. 

Garcia, meanwhile, has played just three Premier League matches for City this term and has largely been named as a substitute by manager Guardiola. 

The Spanish defender, who came through the Barcelona academy and joined City from the Catalans in 2017, has been identified as Gerard Pique’s long-term successor at the Nou Camp. 

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