Since January, João Cancelo has been a transfer target for La Liga champions Barcelona, and the Manchester City defender is closing in on making this summer switch. The full back ended last season winning the Bundesliga title on loan with Bayern Munich, and whilst he has had game time with City in pre-season, boss Pep Guardiola is happy to let him go.
29-year-old Cancelo could be about to add to the names of big clubs already on his playing CV. The Portuguese international began his professional career with Benfica, then linking up with Valencia, Inter and Juventus, before signing for Man City in 2019, in what was then a swap deal involving Danilo.
According to The Times, the relationship between Cancelo and Guardiola broke down in January during a team meeting. It is believed that the defender was not prepared to listen to the manager, having his earphones in whilst the former Barcelona head coach was speaking to the team. Not long after this, he would sign for Bayern.
João Cancelo to Barcelona: Will it happen?
In a short answer, yes, or at least it should go through. This is because transfer guru journalist Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Cancelo has agreed terms over a move to Barcelona. The player himself understandably wanted to make the move once he knew of the interest from the Spanish club, and the next stage now involves the two teams agreeing a fee for the player.
It is understood that the club will finance the deal through the sale of Ousmane Dembélé, who is primed to join up with French Ligue 1 outfit Paris Saint-Germain in a big-money deal. Barcelona have been looking to bolster their full back options, especially with long-standing Jordi Alba leaving after over ten years with the Catalan giants to link with up with Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets at Inter Miami.
This would look to be a move that suits all parties. Man City will get a player off their books who ultimately doesn't want to be there and the relationship between player and coach is clearly not as strong as it could be. Barcelona are adding a top-quality player in this area of the pitch that has experience at the highest level. Being able to play left or right full back is also an added bonus.
Cancelo also has strong playing experience of playing in La Liga, which can only be a good thing, meaning he can settle into new surroundings relatively quickly. He made over 60 appearances for Valencia between 2015 and 2018, although the last of those years saw him impress with Inter, which ultimately earned him a switch to Juventus.
It is anticipated this deal should go through relatively quickly, assuming there are no issues at either end in relation to agreeing a fee. Barcelona manager Xavi has been a long-time admirer of the player, and believes he can fit into his style and the Barcelona way of playing with ease. They have one more friendly before La Liga returns, that coming against Tottenham Hotspur on August 8th.
Man City will be losing one defender, and it remains to be seen if they'll look to replace him. They soon get their Premier League campaign up-and-running, and clicking here will provide you with all their key fixture dates.