THE PERFECT MARKET OPPORTUNITY. The departure of academy stars at Barça feels like a yearly occurrence. It seems like every summer, there are a flood of offers for La Masia players and the club is unable to retain their services. It's a lost cause as the players ask for money the club simply can't afford. Barça decided that they couldn't compete with the huge offers coming from England for youngsters. It's a high-risk strategy as players decide to ignore the years of development because they don't see an opportunity for them here or for the lure of a short-term cash windfall. Losing these promising youngsters has hurt Barça and they try to push the narrative that anyone who leaves at this stage won't ever be brought back. It's more a warning to players and agents who are considering this option but exceptions could - and must - be made.
Gerard Pique was one of those exceptions and no one doubted he was worth bringing back. Eric Garcia is another. He has the right attitude and it's a fantastic opportunity, in a difficult market, that Barça can't pass up. Garcia is in the final year of his contract at Manchester City and has grown at an exceptional rate. And, most importantly, he's a player that is desperate to return to Barça to succeed at the team that runs through his veins. The two sides have been speaking for a while now and everything appears on track, although nothing has been finalised yet. If he arrives next summer on a free transfer or this year, for a minimal fee, it'll be an incredible deal. Another matter would be to pay millions for players who left as youngsters and succeeded. There, perhaps, is where you keep the doors closed.