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Arsenal transfer news: Gunners hope to beat Barcelona to Eric Garcia signing

Eric Garcia
(Image credit: PA)

Arsenal are hoping to beat Barcelona to the signing of Manchester City centre-back Eric Garcia.

Garcia is out of contract in the summer and is likely to depart the Etihad Stadium.

He has even been linked with the exit door this month, with Barcelona having long led the race to sign him.

The centre-back was born in the Catalan capital and spent nine years in the club’s academy before joining City.

Garcia is thought to favour a return to Barcelona, but the club’s delayed presidential election has prevented them wrapping up a deal.

The vote to elect a permanent successor to Josep Maria Bartomeu was originally scheduled for January 24 but had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The election will now take place on March 7 and the candidates have agreed to put all transfer business on hold for the time being.

As such, Arsenal spy an opportunity to jump to the front of the queue for Garcia.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Mikel Arteta is a big fan of a player he worked with during his time as Pep Guardiola’s assistant.

The Spanish outlet reports that Arsenal - as well as Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG - have approached the 20-year-old about a summer switch.

Guardiola admitted at the weekend that Garcia is unlikely to still be a City player next season.

The youngster rejected the offer of a new contract at the Etihad before the start of the current campaign.

"We will see what happens at the end of the transfer window," Guardiola said. "I don't think he will sign a new contract. 

"I am pretty sure he is going to leave at the end of the season and now, in this transfer window, it will depend on the [other] clubs."

Arteta’s side moved up to eighth in the Premier League table with victory over Southampton on Tuesday.

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