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Barcelona want to retain on-loan Portuguese duo for next season; Man City, Atletico waiting for call

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Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Barcelona went into the summer transfer window of 2023 with clear intentions but a negative bank balance. They had to reinforce the defence, the midfield, and the attack, and eventually came back with five signings at the end of it.

Ilkay Gundogan and Inigo Martinez were the first of them, both of them arriving on Bosman moves. The signing of Oriol Romeu then followed, for around €3.5 million, before Barcelona eventually went ahead with loan deals for Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo.

The Portuguese duo were the last to arrive at the club, and made their debut the last, as well. Since then, they have put in some really special performances, with Cancelo really standing out as one of the most consistent performers this season.

However, there are doubts over Felix. The 24-year-old has had a few really tremendous games, but also some really poor ones. His inconsistent displays have raised doubts among the coaching staff.

Xavi was never particularly in favour of his signing, and instead wanted a midfielder so he could implement his four-man midfield tactics with enough depth in the team.

Meanwhile, Barcelona want to retain both Cancelo and Felix beyond their loan spell, which gets over in the summer of 2024, as per a report by Alex Pintanel (h/t FCBWorld).

Manchester City and Atletico Madrid are already waiting on calls from Barcelona to start negotiations.

Previously, it was reported that City would demand nearly €30 million for Cancelo’s signature, while Atleti hope to get no less than €70-80 million for Felix.

With the defensive midfield position also becoming a priority, it seems farfetched that Barcelona will spend nearly €100 million on two players.

While Cancelo has impressed everyone at the club alike, and could be signed for around €20-25 million, Barça will not want to spend too much money on Felix. He is neither the natural left-winger the club are looking for, nor are his performances combining enough.

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