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Eric Garcia is reportedly set to sign a five-year deal at Barcelona with the Manchester City centre back unwilling to sign a new deal at the Etihad.

The 20-year-old, who left Barca for City back in 2017 after nine years in the club’s La Masia academy, has struggled to play first-team football consistently this season, with Ruben Dias, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte ahead of him in the pecking order.

The Spanish international has long been linked with a return to the Camp Nou and Joan Laporta will seal the deal in April, according to Spanish outlet SPORT, in what will be his first signing since he won the presidential election earlier this month.

Within the report, Garcia talks to members of the Spanish press whilst on international duty this week, ahead of Spain’s World Cup qualifiers against Greece, Georgia and Kosovo.

The defender talks about his imminent return to Barcelona, including the prospect of playing alongside Lionel Messi, even though the Barca skipper’s contract expires in the summer.

‘It would be very special to play alongside Messi because he’s the best footballer in the world,’ Garcia said.

‘We see week after week what he does and it’s incredible.’

He added that his relationship with City boss Pep Guardiola had not deteriorated despite not committing his future to the club and said he is in contact with Barca’s teenaged superstar Ansu Fati,
‘I took the decision [not renewing City deal] in that moment, what I will do later I don’t know, right now I’m focused on Man City and the national team.

‘My relationship with Pep is the same as before I took my decision. I have a contract and I’m focused on City, if the coach thinks it’s time for me to play. I understand that he isn’t making many changes because the players (in the team) are at an incredible level.’

‘I like teams that bring the ball out from the back and press as much as possible. Barca are one of those and there are others.

‘They’re having a very good moment, the coach is backing the youngsters and that’s good for them.

(Ansu and I) have known each other all our lives and when we talk we don’t talk about football, hardly at all. Now he’s recovering and he knows I’ll help him in any way I can.’

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