In spite of an arduous economic climate, Barcelona continue to monitor top players in the market and Manchester City star Joao Cancelo is a name that has been linked heavily with the Catalan giants over the past few days.
Manager Xavi Hernandez has taken great interest in the player, despite the player’s dubious track record with managers.
A new competitor has entered the picture
With Ousmane Dembele’s impending exit, Xavi wants to bring in a ‘pure’ right-back and Cancelo is seen as the right player to handle the reins on the right flank.
Nonetheless, according to AS, Barcelona are not the only team gunning for the Portuguese’s signature, with the player also having an offer from Saudi Arabia.
Sources from Manchester City have acknowledged that Cancelo is also communicating with a team from the Saudi Arabian League.
After a fall-out with Pep Guardiola, Cancelo was loaned out to Bayern Munich during the January transfer window earlier this year. Now the former Barcelona coach has already made it clear that he “could go wherever he wanted, even to United.”
Cancelo has reportedly already agreed terms with the Catalan giants, but Barcelona are yet to formally negotiate with the Cityzens.
And with the club said to be investing all their efforts into the signing of another Manchester City star in Bernardo Silva, there is a chance that the Cancelo deal might collapse and there is a club from Saudi Arabia waiting to pounce.
If it happens, it would not be the first time Barcelona lose out on one of their targets to the Middle East nation this summer.
Not very long ago, Barça and Al Nassr were in direct competition for Marcelo Brozovic, with the player ultimately choosing the Middle East.
Cancelo will likely also be offered an incredible financial package by Saudi, which may end up swaying his mind.
Alternatives on the table
In the event Barcelona miss out on Cancelo, the possibility of acquiring 18-year-old sensation Ivan Fresneda from Real Valladolid is highly likely.
The 18-year-old is prioritising a move to Barcelona, having reportedly also agreed personal terms with the club. But with the Blaugrana yet to initiate his signing, the player may end up listening to other offers soon.
Fresneda is also a man in high demand and thus the La Liga champions will be obliged to act quickly before time runs out.