Arsenal set to rival Barcelona for defender


Arsenal have shown interest in Manchester City youngster Eric Garcia, according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo (via the Express).

Garcia was raised through the infamous La Masia at Barcelona, before making the switch to City in 2017. It was at the Cityzens where he made his professional debut.

He emerged as a promising talent towards the end of the 2019/20 campaign, lining up alongside Aymeric Laporte. He has made ten Premier League starts in total, as well as five in the Champions League. During this time, he earned a call up for the Spanish national team, making four appearances.

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Garcia against Cheltenham in the FA Cup

However, the 20-year-old’s contract is set to expire in the summer, and he has refused a new deal to stay at the Etihad. This leaves him free to negotiate a transfer elsewhere from now until the end of the season.

The young defender has been heavily linked with a move back to Barcelona, where he was born and raised. However, Mundo Deportivo are now reporting (via the Express) that Arsenal are ready to rival the Catalan giants for Garcia’s signature.

Both sides could do with a new centre-back. Barcelona have been light at the heart of defence this season, largely due to the long-term injury of veteran Gerard Pique.

Pique is set to turn 34 this week, while Frenchman Samuel Umtiti is out of favour at the Camp Nou. This leaves just Clement Lenglet, Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza as Barcelona’s only available centre-backs.

fbl esp liga atletico barcelona 1
Pique suffered an ACL injury against Atletico Madrid

Meanwhile, the Gunners could be in the hunt for a replacement for Sokratis Papastathopoulos, whose contract was terminated this January ahead of a move to Olympiacos.

However, Mikel Arteta’s men already boast the fourth best defensive record in the Premier League. It is up the other end where their priorities should lie.


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