Barcelona’s sporting director Ramon Planes has admitted the club will try to sign Manchester City defender Eric Garcia this summer if they can sell players to make room for his arrival.

‘It’s true that we are looking for someone to help us in defence,’ said Planes. ‘Eric Garcia is a great player, made in Barcelona, who loves the club, but whether or not he can join depends on the market.

‘The club’s idea is to build a young side alongside players who have given a lot to the club. Eric has that profile.’

If Barcelona can sell central defenders Samuel Umtiti and Jean-Clair Todibo they will move for Garcia this year. If not then the player has committed to not signing a new contract at City and will join Barcelona for free in 2021.

Planes was speaking at the presentation of new Barcelona midfielder Miralem Pjanic who said he never doubted he would end up playing with Lionel Messi at Barcelona this season despite the player’s flirtation with a departure to City.

Pjanic said: ‘I couldn’t see Messi with another shirt. I thought it was impossible for things not to be sorted out. My desire was to play with him. I have been lucky enough to play alongside players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Francesco Totti.

‘Messi’s history with the club has been incredible. He is a great champion and a winner. I think this is his home. He is the greatest player of all time. And we will try with him to win trophies.’

Pjanic, 30, signed his four-year contract at the Nou Camp and showed off his new No 8 shirt on Tuesday.

His presentation had been delayed because he tested positive for coronavirus in August.

He said: ‘You can never know where you caught the virus. I have worked at home in Turin.

‘I would have preferred to be here, but I had to respect the rules. I have worked hard at home and now I will join the group.

‘I feel good and want to speak the language as soon as possible to communicate with my team-mates.’

Barcelona need to move players out before the window shuts on October 5 but despite having told Luis Suarez he is surplus to requirements he remains at the club with one year left on his contract.

Planes said: ‘Suarez is an important player. We have to respect the players who have given so much.

‘We have to respect them and their contracts. The market closes on October 5 and a lot can happen between now and then.’

Arturo Vidal is expected to fly to Italy today to sign for the Serie A club.