The Spanish centre-back is set to return to his homeland this summer after spending much of the last year linked with Barca.
Garcia left the Catalans’ La Masia academy to join City in 2017 and has gone on to make 32 appearances for Guardiola’s side.
The 20-year-old played a key role during the run-in last season and his fine form prompted a bid by Barcelona, which City rejected as it did not meet their valuation.
But Garcia chose not to extend his stay at the Etihad and Guardiola has confirmed he will depart for Camp Nou at the expiry of his contract this summer.
“Eric Garcia is like a son,” said Guardiola. “He was a guy last season that after lockdown was our best central defender. He never made a mistake and played in the quarter-final of the Champions League.
Will Manchester City regret Eric Garcia’s departure? Have your say in the comments.
“He’s going to play in Barcelona and that is not an average player – he is a top player.”
Guardiola also opened up on Garcia’s recent absence from City’s matchday squads, explaining the youngster is unfortunate to have slipped down the defensive pecking order.
“He was not selected in the last two games and it broke my heart,” the City boss added.
“That is why it is difficult for all the managers when you have a squad. You cannot imagine what it means.”
City boast by far the best defensive record in the Premier League this season and their centre-backs have been in imperious form.
Ruben Dias has proved himself one of the signings of the season since arriving from Benfica, while Aymeric Laporte and John Stones have also shone for the league leaders.
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