Mikel Arteta hoping to raid former club Man City for free agent next summer

Mikel Arteta is hoping to raid his former club Manchester City for the signing of Eric Garcia.

Arsenal are set to turn to the transfer window to solve their current problems but the Gunners boss has one eye on the summer as well.

And he knows all about Garcia, having coached him during his time as Pep Guardiola's No. 2.

The centre-back will be out of contract next year and has already outlined his intentions to leave.

Garcia was given a run of games in the Premier League after last season's restart following a national lockdown due to Covid-19.

But the signings of Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake has seen competition for a place in the team skyrocket.

Barcelona are the frontrunners for his signature, where the Spaniard came through their famed La Masia academy.

The Catalan giants tried to sign him back in the transfer window as they look for an heir to Gerard Pique.

But they could not stump up the cash needed as City rejected their advances and they are prepared to wait until the summer to sign the 19-year-old for nothing.

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However, that will throw the door open to other clubs with The Sun reporting that Arteta is keeping tabs on the youngster.

Real Madrid are also in the running to land the teenager, with their own need to look for long-term replacements to the aging Sergio Ramos.

Arsenal, though, are in need of reinforcements as they prepare for a defender exodus in the summer.

David Luiz, Sokratis Papastahopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi are all out of contract next year, though the Gunners are fairly stacked in that area.

William Saliba joined for £30m from Saint-Etienne last season but has yet to make an appearance for the first-team.

Gabriel Magalhaes was signed in the summer from Lille while Pablo Mari made his loan from Flamengo permanent.

Rob Holding and Calum Chambers are still at the club while Kieran Tierney can also play there when needed.

Regardless, landing Garcia ahead of Barcelona and Real Madrid would be quite the coup for Arsenal.

The defender is highly-rated in his home country and would also adhere to Arteta's philosophy of signing young talent.

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