Mikel Arteta ‘insists on signing’ €20m Barcelona star for Arsenal after January transfer snub

·2-min read
Garcia Arsenal Barcelona Credit: Alamy
Garcia Arsenal Barcelona Credit: Alamy

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reportedly ‘insists on’ signing Eric Garcia from Barcelona this summer.

Garcia moved to the Catalans from Manchester City on a free transfer two years ago but has struggled to establish himself at the Nou Camp.

He’s started 11 of their 26 La Liga games this season, with Xavi often preferring to field Marcos Alonso in the heart of defence.

And with Barcelona set to sign Inigo Martinez on a free transfer from Athletic Bilbao, Garcia’s minutes look likely to diminish even further.

The Gunners tried to lure Garcia to the Emirates in January with reports suggesting Arteta viewed him as a player with the ‘perfect profile’.

But at that point the 22-year-old was keen to remain with the Spanish giants – whom he left as a youth player to join Manchester City’s academy – to fight for his place.

Mundo Deportivo now report that the centre-back won’t accept a similar role next season and is likely to leave the club.

It’s reported that Arteta and Arsenal ‘insist on signing’ the defender in the summer, with the Arsenal boss well aware of his attributes having worked with him while assistant to Pep Guardiola at Man City.

Jakub Kiwior was brought in from Serie A side Spezia in a £20million deal to provide cover for Gabriel Magalhaes at left centre-back, but it’s thought Arteta wants similar cover for William Saliba on the right.

Garcia operates predominently as a right centre-back but can also play at right-back, in a similar vein to Ben White.

Guardiola spoke very highly of his young compatriot when he was still at City – and had been desperate to keep him – and Arteta is thought to rate Garcia equally highly.

And with Arteta coveting both youth and versatility in his squad, Garcia seems like a natural transfer target.

Garcia is currently valued at €12m by Transfermarkt, and it’s thought a bid of around €20m could be enough to at least start a negotiation with Barcelona over his sale.

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