Sources: Barca eyeing Garcia bid in January

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Barcelona will make a renewed attempt to sign Manchester City defender Eric Garcia in January, although the incoming president will have to give the green light to any potential deal, sources have told ESPN.

Despite the resignation of president Josep Maria Bartomeu in midweek, work continues behind the scenes to strengthen the squad in the winter. Sporting director Ramon Planes and coach Ronald Koeman both believe another centre-back is needed.

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Barca tried to sign Garcia in the summer but failed to agree on a fee with City. Talks were ongoing until the final day of the transfer window. The Catalan club plan to re-open negotiations with the Premier League side with the hope of reaching an agreement for the new president to sign off.

City turned down a final offer worth €10 million up front with an additional €8m in add-ons. They wanted a total package worth €20m, sources told ESPN.

Garcia, 19, is out of contract with City at the end of the season. Barca, therefore, are confident the English club will be willing to drop their pretensions in January given the risk of him leaving for free next summer — even though Pep Guardiola hopes to convince him to stay.

“He wants to leave but maybe we can seduce him to extend his contract with us,” Guardiola said last week.

Barca are without a president or a board of directors following Bartomeu’s resignation on Tuesday. A managing committee is running the club on a day-to-day basis, but they do not have the authority to make signings.

Club statutes state elections must be held within 90 days of Bartomeu stepping down, so a new president should take over in January, if not before.

ESPN first revealed Barca’s interest in Garcia on June 2. The Blaugrana see Garcia, who left the club for City in 2017, as the long-term heir to Gerard Pique but also as someone who can add competition immediately.

The squad is short in defence. Ronald Araujo played with a thigh injury against Juventus on Wednesday and ended up making the problem worse. He was taken off at half-time and, with Pique injured, midfielder Frenkie de Jong had to fill in as a centre-back.

Pique and Clement Lenglet, therefore, are the only available centre-backs for this weekend’s game against Alaves. Araujo will be out for up to a month, although Samuel Umtiti, who hasn’t played for the club since June, returned to light training on Thursday.