06.08.2020 16:11 h

Eric Garcia rejects Man City contract extension

Manchester City defender Eric Garcia has turned down the offer of a contract extension at the Etihad Stadium, manager Pep Guardiola revealed on Thursday.

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 Barcelona in 2017, has made 19 first-team appearances this season.

"He told us he doesn't want to extend his contract with Manchester City," Guardiola told reporters on Thursday.

"He has one more year then after that he doesn't want to extend. We want it but he doesn't want to extend the contract. I imagine he wants to play in another place."

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

The club did not replace former captain Vincent Kompany when he left last year 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 centre-back Nathan Ake from Bournemouth for £40 million ($53 million) but will now have to decide whether it makes sense to sell Garcia in the current transfer window or risk losing him on a free transfer next year.