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Manchester City transfer news: Pep Guardiola confirms that Eric Garcia will return to Barcelona

Eric Garcia
(Image credit: PA)

Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Eric Garcia will rejoin Barcelona when his contract with Manchester City comes to an end.

The 20-year-old centre-back, who progressed through the La Masia academy before signing for Man City in 2017, has long been expected to return to his former club.

According to Marca, Guardiola announced in his latest press conference that Garcia has decided against extending his stay in England and will head back to Barcelona instead.

“Eric Garcia is like a son. He was a guy last season that after lockdown was our best central defender. He never made a mistake and played in the quarter-final of the Champions League,” said the City manager.

“He's going to play in Barcelona and he is not an average player. He is a top player. He was not selected in the last two games and it broke my heart.

“That is why it is difficult for all the managers when you have a squad. You cannot imagine what it means.”

Garcia made 20 appearances in all competitions last season and enjoyed his longest run in the team after the Premier League restarted in June.

He also won the first of four international caps when Spain beat Ukraine 4-0 in the UEFA Nations League at the start of September.

Garcia has been expected to return to Barcelona for several months now, with Ronald Koeman attempting to bring the deal forward during the January transfer window.

With Guardiola knowing that Garcia sees his future elsewhere, he has been limited to just three league outings this season, the first coming in a 5-2 thrashing by Leicester City.

Man City are currently on a 20-game winning run and have looked defensively solid throughout, with Ruben Dias and John Stones forging a strong partnership at centre-back.