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Barcelona make Garcia top target but Man City want to extend his contract

14:41 BST 31/07/2020
Eric Garcia Manchester City 2019-20
The Premier League club remain hopeful that their highly-rated teenager will sign a long-term deal but the Catalan giants are ready to pounce

Barcelona have made Eric Garcia their top transfer priority but Manchester City still want to tie down the Spanish defender to a new long-term contract.

The 19-year-old left Barca's La Masia academy three years ago and has since broken into Pep Guardiola's first team at City.

But with his current contract due to expire in 2022, the Catalans want to bring Garcia back to Camp Nou and see him as the long-term successor to Gerard Pique.

Garcia has established himself as a regular in Guardiola's line-up since Project Restart, starting the Premier League clash with Liverpool and FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

Moving ahead of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi in the pecking order, he is also expected to start the Champions League last-16 second leg against Real Madrid.

City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain was set to sit down with the player's representatives to discuss a new deal before the Covid-19 outbreak.

According to sources in Spain, Garcia may consider his future if Guardiola decides to leave the Premier League club.

The City boss is currently in the final 12 months of his contract at the Etihad Stadium and has so far refused to say whether he will commit to a further extension.

In July, Guardiola said that he was confident that Garcia would sign a new long-term deal but Barca remain convinced they can persuade him to return.

“I don’t have any updates. He has one more year on his contract, if Barcelona want him they must call him," Guardiola said last month.

“We are going to try convince him to stay here for many, many, many years.

“I am confident he will stay, but in the end it is his decision. He knows we want him, but it was the same with Leroy [Sane].

“We want him, but he doesn’t want to stay, we cannot do anything else.

“He knows, his agent knows, his family knows that we want him. If Barcelona want him, they have to call Txiki.”

Germany winger Sane was allowed to join Bayern Munich earlier in the summer for an initial €49m (£44.7m/$55m) when he entered the final year of his contract.

City are looking at bringing in new centre-backs this season, with Bournemouth's Nathan Ake set to join in a €44m (£40m/$52m) deal.

They could also look at bringing in another central defender, with Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly a potential target.