It’s fair to say that nothing is going right for Barcelona just now, so it won’t surprise anyone if they miss out on their main transfer targets in January.
They don’t have a lot of money so they will struggle if they face competition for any signatures, so that could cost them when it comes to signing Man City defender Eric Garcia.
ESPN have indicated that Barca are desperate to sign him but they won’t pay the €20m fee that City want because his contract expires at the end of this season.
The problem they have is Mikel Arteta is keen to bring him to Arsenal, while the fee would be affordable and his favourable relations with Man City could help them to get this done.
In some ways it would be a surprise to see two Premier League rivals dealing with each other, but it could simply be the case that City don’t see Arsenal being a credible threat for some time.
This won’t be simple for Arsenal because Garcia would be eligible to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with Barca from January, so Arsenal would need to get this sorted pretty quickly to prevent that from happening.
Garcia came through the youth system at Barcelona and the prospect of going back to replace Gerard Pique in the long term has to be appealing to him, so the return to Spain still looks like the most likely option.
They’ll also have City over a barrel if they get to January and he does sign the agreement to go back to the Nou Camp, so Arsenal have three weeks to tie this deal up before the Catalans can get involved.
It’s probably naïve to think that he doesn’t already have an agreement in place with Barcelona anyway, so Arsenal will need to make a compelling pitch to convince him to move to The Emirates.