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.
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.
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.”