New Barca Boss Koeman Names Player He’ll Replace Gerard Pique With

Barcelona’s new manager Ronald Koeman has identified a Manchester City defender that he’ll bring to the Nou Camp this summer to replace Gerard Pique.

The Catalan giants have made it clear they want to re-sign Eric Garcia, who came through their famed La Masia academy.

Yet with funds tight at the club, Barca chiefs were willing to wait until May when the 19-year-old’s Etihad contract will have expired.

Now Koeman wants to see if their move for the Manchester City’s centre-back — who has been called up by Spain this week — can be brought forward.

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With doubts over the future of veteran Barca defender Gerard Pique, 33, Koeman is hoping to secure a centre-half for the long-term future.

City boss Pep Guardiola revealed earlier this month that the talented youngster turned down a new deal and is keen to leave.

But Etihad moneymen are demanding £30million to consider selling now — and Barca are unlikely to reach that figure.

City would also be happy to keep the Spanish superkid has next season and let him leave for free next summer.

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Dutchman Koeman admits it will be difficult to make sweeping changes this window, due to the economic impact of Covid-19.

But the ex-Everton and Southampton chief know he must shake things up after their humiliating 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich — which led to Quique Setien being sacked as manager.

So instead, he will prioritise two or three new faces this summer — with Garcia expected to be one of them.

Koeman said: “Big clubs are undergoing major losses and I’m aware it may be hard to bring in five or six players immediately.”