Barcelona reportedly have two centre-backs on their radar for the upcoming January transfer window as they look for a quick fix for their current defensive crisis.
The Catalan giants have recently been hit with several injuries at the heart of the defence. Samuel Umtiti and Ronald Araujo were already sidelined before Gerard Pique picked up an anterior cruciate ligament injury which is believed will keep him out for most of the season.
Tests carried out this Sunday on @3gerardpique have shown that he has a grade 3 sprain in the internal lateral ligament and partial injury to the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The evolution of the injury will condition his availability. pic.twitter.com/0Bf0EnXiZo
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 22, 2020
This has left La Blaugrana extremely light at the back, with Clement Lenglet and youngster Oscar Mingueza being the only central defenders named in their squad to face Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League. Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong can also fill in there – as he has done this season – although he has been rested for the trip to Ukraine.
And now reports are suggesting that Barcelona are looking at Manchester City youngster Eric Garcia and veteran Ezequiel Garay to fill the void.
The link to Eric Garcia is not a new one. The teenager was widely thought to be on his way to the Camp Nou last summer after he refused to extend his contract at the Etihad and Barcelona made a late offer. However, no such move materialised, leaving him with Man City for the time being.
According to the Manchester Evening News, Ronald Koeman’s interest in the 19-year-old has not dwindled, and the player is still eager for a return to the club which he spent his youth days at. Furthermore, the injury to Pique may be the catalyst for the move.
Garcia has made 27 appearances for City since arriving in 2017. His contract expires at the end of the season, so the club may be encouraged to sell while he still has some market value.
Meanwhile, La Liga TV show El Chiringuito have reported that Argentina international Ezequiel Garay could be on his way to the Camp Nou.
The 34-year-old, who previously played for arch-rivals Real Madrid, is currently a free agent after being released from Valencia following a serious injury.
Garay will be well acquainted with Barcelona captain Lionel Messi, having played alongside the six-time Ballon d’Or winner at three international tournaments from 2011 to 2015. He would also represent a short-term option for Barcelona, and would perhaps be a backup for Koeman if the club comes up short again on their pursuit of Garcia.