Finishing 10th in Spain’s second division, Sporting Gijon didn’t have the best of seasons, yet that doesn’t stop one player at Manchester City from hoping he gets to play there one day.
Manu Garcia, one of the Premier League champions’ many youngsters out on loan around Europe, had a chat with Radio Marca Asturias recently, during which he was asked about his affinity for the Spanish side where he started his career as a footballer.
Plucked from their youth team by Manchester City back 2013, the 21-year-old spent the second half of his teenage years in England, before being sent around Europe on loans to Alaves, NAC Breda and most recently Toulouse.
Set to return to England in June, Garcia still doesn’t know what the future holds for him, even if he does know that, at some point, he’d like to return to Gijon.
He said, relayed by La Voz de Asturias: “I have a contract with City, and I don’t know anything about the next year. Sporting [Gijon] is the club of my heart.
“I have a very good relationship with José Alberto [SG’s manager]. I’m with him until the end of the world, but I have a contract with City and it’s still too soon to say what will happen. I hope that I can play at Sporting one day. It’s the club I love.”
It’s worth pointing out José Alberto was Garcia’s coach in the youth team at Gijon before being promoted to be their first-team manager in 2018 after two years with their B team.
It seems unlikely that Manchester City will allow the 21-year-old to go from starting more than half of Toulouse’s games this season in Ligue 1 to Spain’s second division, but if there’s a promise he will be the squad’s star and be the first name on the team sheet every week, then why not?
Furthermore, Garcia is reaching a crossroad in his career, with just one year left on his Etihad contract, meaning this could be the last chance for the Cityzens to cash in on him if he doesn’t extend his stay.