Pep admits Man City star ‘doesn’t want to extend contract’

Will Ford

Manchester City defender Eric Garcia has turned down the offer of a contract extension at the Etihad Stadium.

The highly-rated 19-year-old centre-back has been linked with a return to his boyhood club Barcelona.

The Spaniard, who joined City from the Catalan giants three years ago, has made 19 first-team appearances this season.

Manager Pep Guardiola said at a press conference: “He announced to us that he doesn’t want to extend his contract with Manchester City.

“He has one more year and after that, he doesn’t want to extend. We want it but he doesn’t want to, so I imagine he wants to play in another place.”

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The emergence of Garcia, particularly since the season resumed after the Covid-19 stoppage, had been a bonus for Guardiola in a problem position.

The club did not replace former captain Vincent Kompany when he left the club last summer and Aymeric Laporte missed five months of the campaign through injury.

With Guardiola appearing to lack confidence in a John Stones-Nicolas Otamendi pairing, midfielder Fernandinho was deployed as a makeshift centre-back for most of the campaign.

The club this week signed Nathan Ake from Bournemouth for £40million but will now have to decide whether it makes sense to sell Garcia this summer or risk losing him on a free transfer next year.