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Eric Garcia has an obvious option in Barcelona transfer dilemma

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Manchester City will always have expected that Barcelona would return for Eric Garcia.

It was remarkable that the Blues were able to steal away the La Masia wonderkid in the first place, with the defender's departure in 2017 prompting indignation at how a player that looked destined to lead Barcelona had been allowed to leave.

The Catalan giants are back, hoping to convince the 19-year-old to move back to the Nou Camp, and it is understandably a difficult decision for Garcia to make.

He left his friends and family to move to Manchester, and the lure of a return to them as well as the opportunity to play for the club whose ranks he rose through and are still one of the most famous in the world, needs little elaboration.

What makes the choice tricky is how good City's offer also looks.

Pep Guardiola has promoted Garcia above John Stones, Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi since the June restart, putting him in line to start the biggest game of the season against Real Madrid in their quest for Champions League glory. There will be new arrivals in the backline this summer, but Garcia has been assured of his role in a future where the Blues will continue to put up a serious challenge for every competition they enter.

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Uncertainty given the manager's contract expiring is understandable - Guardiola is a draw for players to come to the Etihad so it makes sense that if he leaves in 2021 some may find the City project less appealing - but there is no more clarity at Barcelona.

Lionel Messi has made plain his unhappiness this season and his deal also runs out next summer, with no certainty that the 33-year-old will renew.

Given the state of both clubs, the easiest choice for Garcia looks to be to stay put and assess the situation in 12 months. He knows he will get at least a year of regular minutes for Guardiola's City, and can watch how Barcelona recover from their struggles this season.

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Such a decision may not please either club trying to plan ahead. City do not need another complication to a defence they are trying to convincingly sort out, while Barcelona could do with all the good news stories they can get at the moment.

However, if Garcia continues his development then both will still want him in 12 months when their future paths are more obvious. The player is in the driving seat, so the player should be able to set the terms.

Garcia may wish to make a definitive choice now rather than kick it down the road for 12 months, but taking stock to assess his options - something he is exceptionally good at on the pitch - looks to be the most obvious way to getting rid of uncertainty for the long term.




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