For a while there was a line going around the Catalan media which sent a warning out to La Masia players: If you leave Barcelona, don’t expect to return to the club in the future.

The idea was that Barca wouldn’t make efforts to bring back players who had moved on as youngsters for, as it was seen in the Catalan media, better financial deals elsewhere.

That’s been softening and it’s now been made clear it’s not a policy set in stone, which could have meaning for Manchester City’s Eric Garcia in the future.

Speaking to Sport, Patrick Kluivert, Barcelona’s academy director, was asked directly if players such as Xavi Simons, Eric Garcia and Robert Navarro could one day return.

Simons moved to PSG in the summer, Garcia signed for City in 2017, and Navarro moved to AS Monaco in 2018 before signing for Real Sociedad in the last market.

Kluivert replied: “Always leave the door open a little. It’s hard. When a child chooses to leave La Masia it is a bitter drink for the people who are working in La Masia and see that they are going to another place. Normally the door is closed but I am a person who always left the door a little, but very little.” 

Garcia has a contract with Manchester City until June 2022, and there’s been no serious rumours about the 18 year old potentially returning to Barcelona.

This season he’s been given 27 minutes in the Premier League, against Watford in September, and a further 180 minutes in the EFL Cup, against Watford and Southampton.