• Eric Garcia has made 16 Premier League appearances across two seasons
  • He is set to leave Man City on a free transfer in the summer
  • Garcia is one of Barcelona's top targets

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is reportedly planning to spoil FC Barcelona’s plans by signing Manchester City defender Eric Garcia.

Garcia, who is set to become a free agent at the end of 2020-21, is currently allowed to discuss his future with other clubs. He is being chased by Arteta, who has a role in the player’s evolution when he was Pep Guardiola’s assistant coach at Manchester City, as reported by Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo. Arteta was at Manchester City between 2016 and 2019.

The 20-year-old Garcia came through the ranks of Barcelona’s La Masia before he switched to City’s academy in Manchester. In 2018, Garcia made his senior debut in the blue jersey as he played three League Cup matches. Across the last two seasons, Garcia has clinched 16 Premier League appearances and overall, the Spaniard has an experience of 31 competitive matches.

Even though Guardiola wants Garcia to continue at Manchester City, the player is believed to have made up his mind about returning to Camp Nou. However, with the prevailing financial crisis at Barcelona and with no president in place at the club, it has been impossible for the Catalans to agree on a fee with City. Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman, who has been desperate to add Garcia to his squad to strengthen his defense, can get the player at the end of January if Barcelona bid a suitable price for the defender.

It was earlier reported that with Barcelona delaying their move for Garcia, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) may swoop in and hijack the player by meeting City’s demands of $6 million-plus another $6 million in variables. PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino shares a great relationship with Garcia’s agent Iván de la Peña and that could help the Ligue 1 champions in this case.

Eric Garcia of Manchester City and Stuart Armstrong of Southampton
Eric Garcia of Manchester City and Stuart Armstrong of Southampton Getty Images | Robin Jones

The report has also stated that at Arsenal, Arteta follows similar principles and fundamentals that he had learned at Manchester City and a move to Emirates could prove to be hassle-free and an easier transition for the 20-year-old Garcia. If a return to Barcelona does not happen for Garcia, Guardiola would definitely not want to lose him to a Premier League rival.