Guardiola expressed his disappointment at the defender's decision to leave the club.
Eric Garcia has been heavily linked with a move away from Manchester City in recent months. The Spanish defender rejected the chance to extend his deal with the club in favor of a move back to Barcelona on a free transfer at the end of the season.Garcia is a product of Barcelona's famous La Masia youth academy. He left the club to join Manchester City in 2017, and made his senior debut for the Premier League giants in 2018.
Garcia became a regular for Manchester City as a central defender during the 2019-20 season, making 20 appearances for the club in all competitions. Manchester City signed the highly rated Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake in the summer, which meant that Garcia was starved of regular playing time.
Despite deciding to stay at Manchester City this season, Garcia refused to sign a new deal with the club. The 20-year-old has formed a close relationship with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola during his time at the club, and the Spanish tactician revealed his disappointment at the youngster's decision to reject the contract offer.
"Maybe you don't know, but you cannot imagine what Eric Garcia means to me. He's like a son. He was the guy during lockdown last season that was the best central defender that we had. He never made a mistake, not one mistake. He played in a Champions League quarter-final," said Guardiola.
Pep Guardiola expects Manchester City defender Eric Garcia to join Barcelona in the summer.
Pep Guardiola explained how his heart was 'broken' because he could not include Garcia in any of Manchester City's recent match-day squads this season.
The 50-year-old also revealed that he expects Garcia to join former club Barcelona in the summer. Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has reported that Garcia will sign a contract until 2026 with Barcelona in the summer.
"He's going to play I think at Barcelona. Barcelona don't buy players because they're average player, it's because they're a top player. In last two games, he was not selected, it broke my heart. He doesn't deserve that," said Guardiola.