Ronald Koeman has admitted he wanted to sign Manchester City centre-back Eric Garcia in the January transfer window.
The Barcelona academy graduate looks set to return to the Camp Nou as a free agent this summer, having broken off negotiations over a new contract in Manchester.
Barcelona tried to complete a deal for the defender last month, with Koeman keen to bolster his ranks for the second half of the season.
However, the La Liga giants are struggling financially and could not afford to pay City the required transfer fee in January.
Reports in Spain suggest they even asked Garcia to play without a wage until the summer.
City only wanted £2.65m for the Catalan, who has been a peripheral figure at the Eithad Stadium this term.
And Koeman has hinted that he was keen to see Garcia added to his squad in the mid-season market.
“I told the club that we needed a signing, but I respect any decision,” the Barcelona boss said.
“I do not speak after the past. I was talking to them for a moment, but I respect the decision of the club, because of the economic issue. We continue with what we have.
“But, with the casualties and the bad luck of our injuries, we lack defenders, we lack forcefulness, we have not reinforced what we needed. Due to injuries we have lowered our performance in defence.”
Despite the Dutchman’s disappointment at not agreeing a deal sooner, Garcia is still on his way to the Camp Nou this summer.
The 20-year-old, who joined City from Barcelona in 2017, believes he has unfinished business with his hometown club.
“We already know he will probably arrive in the summer,” Koeman said last month. “If it's not possible this January, then we'll accept it and move on.”
Barcelona are currently third in La Liga, eight points adrift of Atletico Madrid in top spot.
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