As Barcelona step up their pursuit of a new right-back, talkSPORT is reporting that the Catalans have already begun talks with Premier League champions Manchester City for Joao Cancelo.
A new right-back is at the top of the agenda at Barça currently, what with Julian Araujo leaving on loan and Sergino Dest likely to have his contract terminated.
It would leave Xavi with only Sergi Roberto, who is not entirely reliable, and Jules Kounde, who is reluctant to play as a makeshift right-back.
As such, Xavi has made it a top priority to bring in a new right-sided full-back, something he stressed in his post-match press conference after the win against AC Milan.
Cancelo is the No.1 target for Xavi
Despite several members of the Barcelona board leaning towards a move for Real Valladolid starlet Ivan Fresneda, Xavi has been pressing hard for the signing of Cancelo.
The manager has several reasons for his strong-willed pursuit of the 29-year-old Portuguese international such as the player’s proven pedigree, quality, experience, and versatility.
And, it appears that Barça are willing to fulfil their manager’s wishes and have opened talks with Manchester City for the signing of the right-back.
Cancelo is out of favour at the Etihad and spent the second half of the last season on loan at Bayern Munich. Even though he has been involved in the pre-season, the defender is expected to move on, with the Cityzens preferring a permanent departure.
Barcelona, though, would like to sign the former Juventus star on a season-long loan deal with an option for purchase.
It could become a sticking point in negotiations, but with Jorge Mendes involved, a solution benefitting all parties involved could be arrived at.
Barça will likely have enough Financial Fair Play margin to accommodate Cancelo’s arrival once Ousmane Dembele leaves for PSG. So, what remains to be seen now is whether they can reach an agreement with Man City.