Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta wants to sign Manchester City defender Eric Garcia in one of the next two transfer windows, according to a report from The Sun.
The teenager has entered the final year of his contract at the Etihad. He has rejected a new deal at Manchester City, and he seems adamant that he wants to leave – either next month for a small fee or in the summer on a free transfer.
La Liga giants Barcelona were heavily linked with a move to sign Garcia in the summer. However, they couldn’t meet City’s demands and a deal collapsed in the final weeks of the window.
Barca are expected to renew their interest, but it is unlikely that it will be in January. The Catalans might as well wait until he is a free agent in a little over six months. If they do that, that will give Arsenal a chance to prepare their own offer for Garcia, and Arteta’s presence may make a huge difference.
The Arsenal boss knows the defender well thanks to their time together at City until last year. Having a familiar face as a manager is always good for youngsters and Garcia will not be any different.
Arsenal will need defensive reinforcements in the summer. We are set to lose three centre-halves in David Luiz, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Skodran Mustafi for absolutely nothing at the end of this season.
At least one new central defender will be on Arteta’s wish list and Garcia could be that man. However, it will not be easy as players rarely ever reject a proposal from a club like Barcelona.
Arsenal Insider’s view:
Not many people expected this to show up on the rumour mill. It looked certain in the summer that Garcia would end up at Barcelona, but Manchester City stuck to their guns.
It still looks likely that the Spaniard will return to the Camp Nou at the end of this season, but if one man can change that, it’s Mikel Arteta.
If the Arsenal boss can give Garcia the assurances he needs, he will likely be up for a reunion, but things will need to move quickly for that happen in one of the next two windows.