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Barcelona formally announce interest in signing Manchester City star – Club ‘working on it’

Barcelona formally announce interest in signing Manchester City star – Club ‘working on it’

Manchester City have been made aware of interest from Barcelona in out-of-favour full-back Joao Cancelo, with formal confirmation released through the media.

The 30-year-old defender is close to completing his second successive loan spell away from Manchester City, having found himself outside of Pep Guardiola’s first-team picture and tactical plans following the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Upon his return to the Etihad ahead of the second-half of the 2022/23 campaign, Guardiola was leaning towards implementing Rico Lewis into his tactical operation of inverted full-backs, whilst John Stones was particular impressive in undertaking the necessary knowledge.

Elsewhere and Kyle Walker was the preferred option when it came to a more natural full-back, and Cancelo was forced to seek opportunities away from the club, with Bayern Munich swooping in to complete a six-month loan deal.

Having turned down the chance to sign the player on a permanent agreement in the following summer, Barcelona took their chance to take the player for 12 months, and are now left with a decision to make on whether to retain the player for another campaign or even longer.

Speaking during a recent media address, Barcelona president Joan Laporta formally announced the club’s interest in on-loan Manchester City and Portugal international Joao Cancelo, despite the change of manager in recent weeks.

As translated and relayed by transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano, Laporta explained, “We want both João Félix and João Cancelo to stay, Deco’s working on it.

“João Félix’s quality is something excellent, I’m happy with his season… Hansi Flick already wanted João Félix at Bayern.”

Confirmation of Barcelona’s interest offers clarity to Manchester City and to Joao Cancelo himself, who may have been wondering what his chances were of remaining in La Liga given Hansi Flick’s takeover as head coach from Xavi.

The German will likely want to implement his own style, but clearly feels as though Cancelo is part of his proposed operation, and the club will work around their financial constraints to come to an agreement with Manchester City.

At present, a loan deal remains more likely given the player’s favourable contract when it comes to Manchester City’s perspective, thus retaining a high level of transfer value on the defender for the time being.

However, given Pep Guardiola and Manchester City are likely to be aligned in their view of wanting rid of Joao Cancelo, the Premier League champions could offer Barcelona the player at a significantly reduced price.