Barcelona are set to miss out on their top target in the January transfer window, with the club’s presidential candidates deciding to wait until June when Manchester City defender Eric Garcia enters free agency.
The Catalans have had their sights trained on Garcia, whose deal is winding down at City and has made no secret of his desire to move to Camp Nou.
With virtually no prospect of Garcia extending his City contract - which expires in the summer - Barca were confident of being able to thrash out a deal to secure the transfer this month.
However, all Barca’s groundwork has come to nothing - with the club’s presidential candidates halting the move.
Joan Laporta is favourite to be named the club’s new president, and he wants no major financial decisions to be made until a new supremo has been elected.
Laporta feels it would be wise for the club to wait until the summer and pick up the player on a free transfer.
“We cannot demand that the Management Board make decisions like this,” Laporta told the assembled media on Friday. “We have concluded that if he is a player whose contract is ending, we must wait.
“If we moved now we would have to pay the transfer fee plus the player's salary.”
The Barcelona presidential elections were scheduled to take place on January 24, which would have provided time to get a deal for Garcia over the line, but the club confirmed on Friday they had been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The development will come as a blow to Barca and Garcia. Technical secretary Ramon Planes had worked tirelessly to get a deal done, but must now keep things ticking over until the summer.
For Garcia, it will be a disappointment as he agreed personal terms in the hope of becoming a Barca player for the second half of the season.
He will now have to wait until the summer, and likely kick his heels on the sidelines at Manchester City due to the excellent form of Pep Guardiola’s other central defenders.