Cancelo’s Transfer Saga: The Barcelona, Arsenal, and Man City Triangle
The Manchester City Dilemma
Joao Cancelo, once a prominent figure at Manchester City, found himself on the sidelines more often than not last season. His unexpected dip in the pecking order saw him conclude the season on loan at Bayern Munich. Despite making appearances during the pre-season under Pep Guardiola, Cancelo has been conspicuously absent from the matchday squads, be it the Community Shield, Premier League opener, or the UEFA Super Cup.
The emergence of local talent Rico Lewis has played a part in this shift. The 18-year-old prodigy recently secured a long-term contract with City, extending his stay until the summer of 2028.
Barcelona’s Defensive Void
With the departure of stalwart Jordi Alba and a noticeable gap in the right-back position, Barcelona’s interest in Cancelo has been no secret. Sources indicate that personal terms with the player have been settled, even amidst interest from the Saudi Pro League. Cancelo’s preference leans towards the Catalans, but the nature of the deal remains a sticking point in the negotiations between the two clubs.
Manchester City envisions a loan deal with an obligatory purchase clause set at a hefty £51m (€60m). Barcelona, on the other hand, is pushing for a non-binding option with a more palatable price tag of £43m (€50m).
Arsenal Enters the Fray
Adding another layer of complexity to the transfer saga is Arsenal’s renewed interest in Cancelo. The Gunners, having recently invested £40m in Jurrien Timber from Ajax, faced a setback when the Dutch recruit suffered a significant knee injury. This unforeseen circumstance, coupled with their longstanding admiration for Cancelo, might prompt Arsenal to re-enter the transfer market.
The Clock is Ticking
Time is of the essence, especially for Barcelona. With Arsenal already initiating talks with Cancelo’s camp, the Catalans will need to act swiftly to secure their target.