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Barcelona given huge transfer boost in pursuit of Manchester City defender – report



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona undertook several risky operations during the 2023 summer transfer window, including signing two players on loan during the final days. This included bringing in Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid and Joao Cancelo from Manchester City.

The Catalans knew about the problems surrounding both players’ apparent behaviour and attitude, but did not have much choice with the squad crying out for replacements in attack and defence.

However, neither player has been a nuisance for the club the entire season, and have – to a large extent – solidified their place in the squad next season if Barça can reach an agreement with Atletico and City over some kind of deal – permanent or otherwise.

And as per a report published by Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have been handed a huge boost in their pursuit for one of the two.

Operation Joao Cancelo on track

The report states that Manchester City have no intention of retaining the services of Cancelo after the season ends. They want him to leave the club by the end of the season, either on loan or permanently.

His agent, Jorge Mendes, met with Barcelona officials earlier this week for the Champions League, and also met with the Manchester City board later.

Barcelona have shown their interest in retaining the services of Cancelo and Felix, but do not have the budget to push for their permanent signings in the summer, with the prices quoted at €30-40 million and €80 million-plus, respectively.

The Joaos will not come cheap. (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

As such, the Blaugranes have been considering another loan for the two, with a better salary split and the option of making both signings permanent at the end of the tenure.

With City seemingly open to another loan for the Portuguese, Barça will be able to push to keep him at the club for another season, at least.

The Manchester outfit and Barcelona could also be in talks to sign Bernardo Silva by the time the transfer window opens, with the midfielder’s release clause standing at €58 million for this summer.

Cancelo’s poor form

While Cancelo has been one of the most consistent performers for Barcelona this season, his form over the last month or so has been worrying.

The Portuguese was especially poor against PSG across both legs, conceding a penalty on Ousmane Dembele and being partly responsible for another goal.

His performance against Real Madrid soon after that was also rather troublesome, with Lucas Vazquez burying him with a goal and assist.

These problematic performances and the trend with his defensive work – or the lack thereof, must be taken into account by Barcelona if they wish to pursue his signing permanently.

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