Friday, June 9, 2023

Manchester City Fullback Targeted By Barcelona: Should Xavi Bring Him To Camp Nou?

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Ankit Seth
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According to a report from SportsMole, Manchester City fullback Joao Cancelo’s agent has reportedly been in contact with Barcelona to discuss the possibility of his client moving to Camp Nou in the upcoming transfer window.

Cancelo’s Campaign With Bayern Munich So Far

In a surprising move, the Portuguese player left Manchester City in January and joined Bayern Munich on loan for the rest of the 2022-23 season. Since arriving at Allianz Arena, the 28-year-old has been a regular team member, making 18 appearances across all competitions and providing one goal and five assists.

The Barreiro-born sensation has been reliable and consistent in the backline after averaging 1.8 tackles, 1.0 interceptions, 1.1 clearances, 1.0 shots, 2.3 dribbles and 0.9 key passes per game in the Bundesliga. He has also been accurate with his ball distribution after averaging 85.2% of his attempted passes in the German top flight (stats via whoscored).

Joao Cancelo of Manchester CIty on loan at Bayern Munich
MUNICH, GERMANY – APRIL 30: Joao Pedro Cavaco Cancelo of FC Bayern München reacts during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and Hertha BSC at Allianz Arena on April 30, 2023, in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Should Barcelona Boss Xavi Bring Him To Camp Nou?

Cancelo has proven to be a dependable player for Manchester City and Bayern Munich, as he can tirelessly move up and down both flanks, making threatening runs into the attacking third. He is skilled at keeping hold of the ball and distributing it effectively. Additionally, he is not afraid to go in for a tackle and can make intelligent interceptions to regain possession for his team.

The wing-back often runs into central areas to create chances for his fellow players in the final third. At 28, he has already cemented his place as one of Europe’s finest fullbacks. It is understood that Bayern can sign Cancelo on a permanent basis this summer for about £61m, but he is expected to return to the Etihad Stadium. However, it is unlikely that he will be part of the Man City squad next season, as his relationship with head coach Pep Guardiola is reported to have become strained.

Barca are interested in Cancelo as they seek to strengthen their right-back position during the upcoming transfer window, and Cancelo remains a perfect fit for Xavi. However, the Portuguese international remains under a long-term contract with Manchester City until the end of the 2026-27 season, despite being on loan with the German giants. Hence, it would be difficult for Xavi to administer a deal with Cancelo as it would all boil down to what the Sky Blues have planned for his future.

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