Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said it breaks his heart to see his ‘son’ Eric Garcia leave the Premier League leaders to join the giants of the Spanish League next season.
García, 20, began his career at Barça and is a product of the culé youth academy before joining City in 2017.
Garcia played for City’s Under-18 and Under-23 teams and made his first-team debut in December 2018.
However, the Barcelona-born defender turned down the offer of a new contract at City last August and will be a free agent this summer.
Several clubs were interested in the talented plug. Arsenal were strongly linked during the January transfer window.
It was always thought that he would return to the Camp Nou but the Gunners seemed another option. However, Guardiola has ended the hopes of any other suitor by confessing that Garcia’s future is marked.
The Spanish strategist is a great admirer of the player and feels that he will continue to shine with Barça.
“Eric García is like a son. He was a guy last season who after the lockout was our best central defender, ”he said.
“He never made a mistake and played the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
“He is going to play in Barcelona and he is not a normal player.”
Guardiola admitted that it has been difficult to let him go.
“He is a first-rate player. He was not selected in the last two games and it broke my heart, “he added.
“That’s why it’s difficult for all coaches when you have a squad. You can’t imagine what it means. “