Barcelona are reportedly interested in signing Manchester City defender Eric Garcia in January, however the incoming president will need to give the go ahead to any potential transfer.
Plans are in place to strengthen the Barcelona squad in the January window, despite the resignation of president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Tuesday.
According to ESPN, sporting director Ramon Planes and manager Ronald Koeman believe another centre back is needed at the Nou Camp, with Garcia seen as a long-term replacement for Gerard Pique.
Barcelona will reportedly move for Eric Garcia in January after failing to sign him this summer
Barca attempted to sign the 19-year-old in the summer but failed to agree a fee with City. However, the Catalans plan to renegotiate with the Sky Blues in the hope of reaching an agreement for the new president to sign off on.
The Premier League club turned down a final offer worth around £9million up front with a further £7.2m in add-ons, with City reportedly wanting a package worth £18m to sell the Spain international.
Barcelona are hopeful a deal can be done as Garcia is out of contract at the end of the season, meaning City might be willing to lower their demands rather than risk losing him on a free transfer next summer.
City boss Pep Guardiola said: ‘He wants to leave but maybe we can seduce him to extend his contract with us.’
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hopes Garcia will extend his stay at the Etihad
Barca are short of defensive options; Ronald Araujo played with a thigh injury in their 2-0 win over Juventus on Wednesday however this only aggravated the problem as he was taken off at half-time while midfielder Frenkie de Jong had to fill in at centre-back.
Pique and Clement Lenglet are the only fit senior centre backs for Saturday’s trip to Alaves, Araujo will be out for a month however Samuel Umtiti returned to light training on Thursday.
Barca are currently without a board of directors following Bartomeu’s resignation, a managing committee is running the club, but they do not have the authority to buy players.
Club statutes state elections must be held within 90 days of a president resigning, therefore the new incumbent should take over by January if not before then.
Reports on Saturday also claim that the club are facing bankruptcy, if they do not cut their wage bill in the coming months.
Garcia is seen as a ‘long-term replacement’ to Spain international team-mate Gerard Pique
The Spanish giants have an eye-watering wage bill which is crippling the club and is said to be in urgent need of cutting by around £170million.
Today talks have begun with the legal representatives of the first-team players regarding the ongoing situation and their current salaries, as report Spain-based EsportsRAC.
A deadline has been set for next week, Thursday November 5, in order for the club to reach a resolution and work out exactly how finances will be put in order going forward.
Barca have to agree wage cuts by the November 5 date in order to announce the budget for this season.
Current income is projected at £746m (€828m) – a drop of £231m – meaning players are now being called upon to make long-term sacrifices.
Player wages in Catalonia stood at 61 per cent of the clubs of £940m (€1,047m) income before the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
Financial crisis is mounting at Barcelona with the club reportedly on the brink of bankruptcy
Next Thursday sees the deadline with which Barca has to agree cuts, to then release a budget
Ronald Koeman was hampered in the transfer market due to having limited funds available
Since, income has dropped to £746m meaning salaries would become over 80 per cent of total income, which is not sustainable.
Barca’s limited dealings in the transfer market were largely down to the financial armageddon the club are battling through and a move for Garcia may hinge on whether the club can resolve their financial issues.
Koeman made Lyon attacker Memphis Depay a top target but Barcelona were unable to finance a deal for the Dutchman on deadline day.
Should the finances get sorted, moves from both Depay and Garcia could be imminent once the window reopens.
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