Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, has said that it breaks his hearts to see his ‘son’, Eric Garcia leaving the Premier League leaders to join Laliga giants Barcelona next season.
The 20-year-old Garcia began his career with Barca and is a product of the Catalans’ youth system before joining City in 2017.
Garcia played for City’s Under-18 and Under-23 sides and made his first-team debut in December 2018.
However, the Barcelona-born defender rejected the offer of a new contract at City last August and will be a free agent this summer.
A number of clubs were keen on the talented stopper. Arsenal were heavily linked during the January transfer window.
It was always thought that he would return to the Nou Camp but the Gunners seemed another option. However, Guardiola has now ended the hopes of any other suitors by confessing that Garcia’s future is set.
The Spanish tactician is a big fan of the player and feels he will go on to shine with Barca.
“Eric Garcia is like a son. He was a guy last season that after lockdown was our best central defender,” he said.
“He never made a mistake and played in the quarter-final of the Champions League.
“He’s going to play in Barcelona and he is not an average player.”
Guardiola admitted it has been tough to let him leave.
“He is a top player. He was not selected in the last two games and it broke my heart,” he added.
“That is why it is difficult for all the managers when you have a squad. You cannot imagine what it means.”