Eric Garcia would be willing to go unpaid for the rest of the season to force through a protracted return to Barcelona from Manchester City this month, according to Blaugrana presidential candidate Victor Font.
Garcia, 20, came through Barca’s La Masia academy before being snapped up by City in 2017, subsequently making the breakthrough into the club’s first-team squad.
Although he made 20 appearances across all competitions last term as he began to establish himself, Garcia delayed signing a new contract and now looks set to leave by the end of the season when his deal expires.
Pep Guardiola has already accepted Garcia will likely leave, but Barca’s acting president Carles Tusquets does not have the authority to sign players, with the delayed election set to take place on March 7.
Media reports claim Tusquets and the three presidential candidates had previously agreed to wait until the end of Garcia’s contract to sign him, such is the club’s crippling financial state.
But now Font is urging the acting board to bring plans forward and meet City’s €3million asking price, adamant he could significantly improve the team’s chances of winning trophies this term.
“Eric Garcia is willing to make an effort and not get paid this season. He is crazy about coming immediately, he is committed and eager to play,” Font told a news conference on Wednesday.
“The steps we have taken allow us to understand that the incorporation of Eric Garcia is possible for now, the club can take it on financially.
“Ronald Koeman and our sports structure consider his signing fundamental to aspire to all the titles this year. From here we ask that the management board make the decision to sign Eric this week.”
Financial records dating back to August last year were recently uncovered and revealed Barca’s debts topped €1billion, with their financial woes a key talking point in the various presidential campaigns.
While Joan Laporta – the favourite to succeed Josep Maria Bartomeu as president – previously said signing Garcia this month is not possible due to Barca’s debts, Font claims the club are in a position to sanction the move.
“If he is willing not to charge this season, why don’t we incorporate him? City accepts €3m plus variables,” Font continued. “The impact on Barca’s accounts would be €230,000 of amortisation. How do we motivate Koeman if the only request he has is denied?
“There is a European Championship in the summer. Eric having minutes is essential so that Luis Enrique can count on him in the national team.
“There is no formal agreement with City but we have made the necessary arrangements so that if Oscar Grau [Barca CEO] calls City, he can verify that they are true – the conditions of €3m fixed, plus variables.”
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