City starlet in line for new deal
Manchester City chiefs are set to reward teenage central defender Eric Garcia with a new long-term deal early in the new year.
The 18-year-old Spaniard was delighted to make his full Champions League debut in Wednesday night’s comfortable 4-1 victory over Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb.
Garcia is a former Barcelona academy graduate and represented by legendary former Camp Nou defender Carles Puyol, who brought him to Manchester two years ago, much to the annoyance of the La Liga giants.
The youngster has made a total of five appearances this term, starting three of those games, and City boss Pep Guardiola has already seen enough of the youngster to believe he is the ‘real deal’.
Garcia is also a standout figure for the Spain Under-21 side and City don’t want to leave it any longer to tie down his future.
It’s understood the teenager’s present deal expires in 2022 and he can expect the Citizens to offer him a substantial increase in wages to around £25,000-per-week.
Talks are expected to open on a five-year agreement after the busy festive period, with both sides of the negotiating table happy with how the starlet is progressing under Guardiola’s watchful eye.
Reports in Spain have suggested both Barcelona and Real Madrid are keen to bring Garcia back home but the classy defender feels he can establish himself as a regular starter at City in the next couple of seasons.
He was rarely troubled on the night in Zagreb. City had already topped Group C and were safely into the round of 16 ahead of Monday’s draw in Nyon, Switzerland.
Garcia said: “I was really happy to have made my Champions League debut – it was a dream come true.
“With the confidence the staff and players give to me, on the pitch it is very easy.
“Pep just says to play like I do always and be confident. The staff and the players help me a lot.”
Gareth Freeman is an experienced journalist who can offer in-depth knowledge on a host of sports, especially football, tennis, snooker and basketball.