Russian Premier League side Zenit St. Petersburg have completed the signing of Manchester City midfielder Javi Garcia on a five-year contract, paying £13million for the Spaniard’s services. A defensive midfielder by nature, Garcia can also play in the role of central defense, but fell further down the pecking order at City with the arrival of Fernando from FC Porto.
The 27-year-old passed his medical with no issues and has since been announced as the newest arrival in Andre Villa-Boas’ team.
“I am happy to be a Zenit player and want to help my team as soon as possible,” Garcia said.
“I had several calls from Andre Villa- Boas, and he is one of the reasons I am in St. Petersburg.”
A fringe player with Real Madrid, Portuguese giants SL Benfica paid €7million for Garcia, who later signed for Manchester City in a £16m move in 2012.
He has since made 53 league appearances for the Sky Blues, scoring just twice in the process. Injuries have not been fair to Garcia as he was consistently on the treatment table, limiting his chances of being selected for matches.
The move also has a lot of positives for all parties involved. Manchester City could do well to offload the huge wages of the player, and simultaneously reducing the quota of non-homegrown players in their ranks. Meanwhile, Zenit boss Villas-Boas would be buoyed by the arrival of Garcia, and will see him as an automatic pick out of the six other foreign players allowed to play under Russian football regulations.
Garcia will most certainly heave a sigh of relief after completing his move to Russia, as the prospect of regular playing time is always an important factor for top players. Garcia will have the opportunity to link up once again with former Benfica players Axel Witsel and Ezequiel Garay - another summer recruit.
Garcia’s international career isn’t too impressive as he has only featured for the national team twice, getting his first taste in an international friendly against Serbia.
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