Unfortunately for Font, Laporta soon hit back and insisted that his mind is made up about the situation.
Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font has claimed that the team should pursue a move for Manchester City centre-back Eric Garcia this month as the defender has supposedly promised to play without a salary until the end of the season.
Garcia’s contract with City will expire at the end of the current campaign and he has made it clear that he will not be signing a new one. He intends to move to Barcelona, but City have always been reluctant to sell, regardless of the financial risk.
The decision on whether to sign Garcia this month was left to the three presidential candidates – Joan Laporta, Toni Freixa and Victor Font – but the trio could not agree on a move and now Garcia seems set to join on a free transfer in the summer.
Font was strongly in favour of landing Garcia, and he recently held a press conference to urge his fellow candidates to reconsider their stances.
“Eric García is ready to make an effort [to leave City this month] and not be paid this season,” Font said (via The Times).
“The movements we have made lead us to understand that the signing of Eric García is possible now, the club can manage it financially. Ronald Koeman and our sporting structure consider his signing fundamental to aspire to win titles this season. So we ask the managing committee to sign Eric this week.
“Why not sign him? If he’s ready to not be paid this season… City will accept €3m plus variables. The impact on the accounts this season would be €230,000 in amortisation. How do we motivate Koeman if the only request he’s made is denied?”
“After seeing the economic situation of the club, I remain in my position. Candidates do not have the power to tell the Management Board things that it cannot do.
“If a player wants to come here, he has to prove it. If he comes for free in June, I don’t know why we have to give money to a club that is our competitor. Now we are talking about amounts that are now different, but ultimately it would be to pay money for a player that in June would be free. We will wait until June and then we will talk.”
Laporta’s determination to avoid paying for Garcia culminated in a strongly worded letter to acting president Carles Tusquets, warning him not make any decisions which could negatively impact the winner of March’s elections, but Catalunya Radio note that Tusquets has hit back.
In his own letter, Tusquets accused Laporta of threatening him no less than five times, and he urged the presidential hopeful to keep his mouth shut until the elections on March 7. Yikes.