Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font said Eric Garcia is willing to go unpaid until the end of the season if that will help enforce a move before the February 1st transfer window closes.
Font added Manchester City would accept € 3m for the defender but Barca have no board and incumbent president Carles Tusquets is not empowered to sign.
Tusquets met with the three presidential candidates – Font, Joan Laporta and Toni Freixa – earlier this month and it was agreed that given the club’s financial situation, they would wait until the summer to sign Garcia when his contract with City expires.
– Stream FC Daily on ESPN +
– Toe Poke: Barca release a special Clasico kit
However, Font has made a late attempt to get the club to change their mind and get a signature requested by manager Ronald Koeman.
“We ask the board of directors to sign Eric Garcia,” he said in a press conference on Wednesday. “Koeman asked about it, our athletic structure [if we’re elected] support it and the player wants to come because there is a European championship this summer.
“He [would be] Fundamental in the battle for three trophies this season. We know City would accept € 3m plus add-ons and we wouldn’t have to pay until next season – that’s a lot less than Barça offered four months ago.
“The player is also ready to go to great lengths and only receive a salary at the end of the season.”
Garcia, 20, left Barca for Man City in 2017, but sources told ESPN in June that the Spain international was interested in returning to Camp Nou.
Barca couldn’t reach an agreement with the Premier League over the summer but the player continued to hope to move this January.
But while he has Font’s support, a move before the window closes this week remains unlikely if fellow candidates Laporta and Freixa don’t get on board.
Laporta has said that with the club’s growing debt, it would be irresponsible to invest money on a signing this month if it is available for free this summer.
Barca’s August 2020 accounts surfaced this week, showing the club’s gross debt surged over € 1 billion. Font admits the club will therefore be limited in the transfer market in the near future and is calling for further wage cuts.
“We cannot make large investments in deals in the months ahead,” he added. “We’re combing the market for players who won’t have a contract this summer and whose salaries are compatible with the club’s situation.
“We have to restructure and reduce labor costs. We have to be honest. We have to decide which players are essential.”
Despite the club’s financial crisis, Font was still being asked about the possibility of signing Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland if elected.
“Haaland would be one of the best signings Barca could make,” he said. “If the sporting structure sees him as a target it would be very interesting, although we understand that it won’t be possible for the next 12 months.”
Barcelona announced Tuesday that the election of a new president will take place on March 7, more than four months after Josep Maria Bartomeu stepped down.