RONALD KOEMAN has confirmed Barcelona will sign Eric Garcia for free in the summer – if they do not before the end of the window.
The Manchester City defender's contract is up at the end of the season and he could leave for as little as £2.65m.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of their Copa del Rey tie against Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona boss Koeman said: "We already know he [Garcia] will probably arrive in the summer.
"If it's not possible this January, then we'll accept it and move on."
The 20-year-old came through at Barcelona's academy before joining City in 2017.
He made his debut in December 2018 and has since made 31 appearances under Guardiola, 16 of which have been in the Premier League.
Despite getting plenty of minutes at City, Garcia has so far rejected a contract extension and it seems unlikely he will change his mind.
Arsenal are also interested in the Spain international, although his preferred choice is a return to his boyhood club.
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Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font was quoted saying Garcia will play for free until the summer, such is his desire to return to the Nou Camp.
Koeman is in need of defensive reinforcements, as his team have conceded 17 goals from their 19 league games this season.
Their poor defence has left them 10 points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid, who have conceded just eight.
Getting Garcia on the cheap will please Barcelona's hierarchy, as they are reportedly on the verge of bankruptcy after racking up £1billion of debt.
The youngster may not be the only player to move between the Etihad and Nou Camp this year, with City keen on signing Lionel Messi.
The Argentine superstar is out of contract in the summer and looks unlikely to stay at Barcelona considering their financial woes.
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