Barcelona ‘switch attention from Memphis Depay to Eric Garcia after Gerard Pique’s long-term injury’
Barcelona will prioritise a move for Manchester City centre-back Eric Garcia over Lyon’s Memphis Depay after Gerard Pique picked up a long term injury, reports claim.
Manager Ronald Koeman was said to be keen to be reunited with Depay, who he worked with during his time as Holland boss, with Barcelona pulling out of a last-minute deal to sign him in September.
The Catalan outfit had been expected to try again in January for Depay, whose deal at the Ligue 1 side expires next summer, but the financially-stricken outfit are now shifting their focus to Garcia after losing defender Gerard Pique to a cruciate knee ligament injury, according to Goal.
Barcelona are reportedly prioritising a move for Man City defender Eric Garcia in January
The club had previously made Lyon’s Dutch forward Memphis Depay one of their top targets
A long-term injury to centre-back Gerard Pique (L) is said to have shifted the club’s attentions
Pique is set for months on the sidelines, leaving Koeman in need of a new centre back. And having tried to sign Garcia last summer, Barca are now set to renew their attempts to land him in January.
They had multiple bids rejected for the 19-year-old in the last transfer window, with Manchester City valuing him higher than the reported £18million that was offered. Garcia’s contract also expires at the end of the season.
The defender, who started his career at Barcelona before moving to City in 2017, has confirmed he has no intention of renewing his deal, with Pep Guardiola admitting defeat in his bid to convince him to stay at the Etihad.
Manager Ronald Koeman will have limited funds in January but needs defensive cover
The defender said: ‘It is true, I have told the club I do not intend to extend my contract beyond 2021. I am focused on next season with City.’
Speaking about Garcia’s contract situation earlier this year, Guardiola said: ‘We want it (a renewal) but he doesn’t want to extend it, so I imagine he wants to play in another place.’
Barcelona have been crippled by financial problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic and are looking to cut down their wage bill to secure the club’s future – thwarting their hopes of lining up multiple transfer targets.
Barcelona could make their move for Depay next summer when they can sign him for free
They will be looking to offload a handful of players to generate more cash for Koeman’s transfer budget in January, with Samuel Umtiti and Martin Braithwaite among the stars to have been linked with an exit.
Should Barcelona hone in on their move for Garcia, they might look to sign Depay next summer instead, when they can snap him up for free. Speaking last month, the 26-year-old admitted he was ‘pretty close’ to moving to the Nou Camp on deadline day.
‘Yes, it was pretty close,’ he said. ‘We don’t have to go into all the details, but indeed we were nearly done. Unfortunately, certain rules stopped it. I believe that everything in my life happens for a reason. If it has to happen, it will happen’.