Manchester City and Portugal international right-back Joao Cancelo is set to sign for FC Barcelona on loan for this season. The news has been confirmed, and was also revealed that the fullback is not going to have an option to buy in his contract.
Cancelo’s situation at City was a bit complicated last season. After several years being a key cog in Pep Guardiola’s machine, the Portuguese had a fallout with the Spanish manager and was relegated to the bench in the first half of the previous season, only to be loaned to Bayern Munich in January.
His time in Bayern Munich wasn’t the greatest. While he played 21 matches across all competitions, his performances left much to be desired, so the German giants decided not to pursue any permanent transfer. This left Cancelo out in the wilderness for this transfer window.
João Cancelo to Barcelona, here we go! Manchester City and Barça are finally exchanging documents right now to get the deal signed today 🚨🔵🔴 #FCB
João, prepared to travel to Barcelona tonight.
Loan deal with buy option clause included.
…it was just matter of time. 🇵🇹 pic.twitter.com/86HuwlwxLd
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 28, 2023
Then the possibility of FC Barcelona arrived. Manager Xavi Hernandez had been searching for a right-back for quite some time now as they needed someone to help with the buildup in that area on the pitch. Uruguayan defender Ronald Araujo and French defender Jules Kounde had occasionally contributed as right-backs, but neither managed to make the position their own.
In that regard, there were a lot of rumors surrounding the possibility of a buy option with Cancelo’s loan but both Barcelona and Manchester City failed to reach an agreement. It was originally reported that the fee would be 25 million euros, but now it has been confirmed that this loan deal has no buy options.
Barcelona are prepared to remove the buy option clause from João Cancelo deal to get Financial Fair Play approval after agreement reached 🔵🔴 #FCB
Deal to be sealed on straight loan until June 2024 — keeping that number as reference for verbal talks next year. 🇵🇹 pic.twitter.com/Ih8ZPe7ea8
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 31, 2023
However, while Cancelo was already left out of City’s squad and it was obvious that he wasn’t going to partake in this season with the Citizens, FC Barcelona were struggling to get the deal done. The main reason has been the club’s running financial problems, which included them trying to balance their wage structure to include Cancelo and that has been an issue they have been dealing with several deals in the last couple of years.
Xavi had been very vocal with the Barcelona board regarding the need for a right-back and now they have delivered in that position. However, the manager and club legend has also requested an attacking midfielder and there have been a lot of rumors surrounding Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix, one of Cancelo’s teammates in the national team, but that deal depends on the potential sales and the fixing of the wage structure.
Be that as it may, this seems to be a very good deal for all parties involved. Cancelo is going to play for a team that needs a footballer of his caliber and Xavi Hernandez is getting the right-back he was in dire need of. Manchester City can also let go of a player who had a fall from grace last year but managed to contribute to the side during multiple key moments over the years, which has to be taken into account.