Barcelona have wrapped up the free transfer of their former youth player Eric Garcia following the expiration of his contract at Manchester City.
The cash-strapped Spanish giants have inserted an eye-watering £344million buyout clause in his contract, with the centre back penning terms until the end of the 2025-26 season.
Barcelona announced the news on Tuesday morning, posting a throwback video on Twitter of Garcia from his youth days at La Masia before being shown around his old surroundings.
Centre back Eric Garcia has completed an emotional return to Barcelona on a free transfer
Barca confirmed the move by posting a throwback video of Garcia during his La Masia days
Garcia will officially be unveiled in Barcelona kit on the Nou Camp pitch later on Tuesday afternoon – but the presentation will be behind closed doors due to the ongoing Covid pandemic.
The 20-year-old has followed in the footsteps of Man City legend Sergio Aguero, who completed his free transfer to Barcelona on Monday after agreeing a two-year contract with the club.
An emotional return to the Nou Camp for Garcia has been in the pipeline for quite some time now, having made it clear to City that he wanted to make the move back to his boyhood club.
Garcia joined Barcelona’s academy back in 2008 and rose through the La Masia ranks – where he was captain at every level – until leaving for City in 2017.
The centre back featured 35 times for City’s first-team, having made his debut in a Carabao Cup quarter-final clash against Leicester in December 2018.
Garcia’s return comes just a day after Barca completed a move for free agent Sergio Aguero
The 20-year-old made only six appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side during the 2020-21 campaign as they romped home to the Premier League title – largely due to his desire to return to the Nou Camp.
Garcia’s rise at the Etihad Stadium under Guardiola caught the attention of Luis Enrique – with the Spain boss recently confirming the young defender’s inclusion in his Euros squad.
Meanwhile, Barcelona are close to finalising a deal for Georginio Wijnaldum after his departure from Liverpool at the end of the season.
And they are also hoping to pull off a free transfer for Memphis Depay – whose contract with Lyon expires at the end of June.
An overhaul at Barcelona could be in the pipeline this summer with Barca hopeful of pulling off deals on the cheap due to their worrying financial predicament.
During the Covid pandemic, it is believed the European giants’ gross debt rose to almost £1.03billion.
Garcia made 35 first-team appearances for Manchester City under Pep Guardiola