Joao Cancelo has made a strong start to life at Barcelona. The right-back has taken little to no time to adapt to Xavi Hernandez’s team and is an undisputed starter under the Spanish tactician.
His contributions in a short time make it easy to forget that Cancelo is, in fact, a player on loan at Barcelona.
If recent performances are anything to go by, the Blaugranas would love to sign him permanently, although they have no such direct option on his contract.
Cancelo sees only one option
The Portuguese right-back does not see a return to Manchester City as an option on his table if recent reports from Fabrizio Romano are to be believed.
“What we can say is that both players [Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix] really want to stay at Barcelona long-term. For example, I’m told from people close to Joao Cancelo that he doesn’t consider this season like a loan season and coming back to Man City”, the ever-reliable Italian journalist said recently on Caught Offside TV.
Romano added that unlike Cancelo’s stint at Bayern Munich last season which was a clear loan operation, the player sees his time at Barcelona very differently.
“That was the feeling at Bayern, for example. ‘Okay, I will stay here, maybe six months and then we will see in the summer.’ But with Barcelona, it’s completely different. He sees Barcelona as a project for the present and the future. He wants to stay at Barcelona.”
Owning the right flank
For years, Barcelona’s right-back has looked bland. The club made multiple attempts to find a player who could create an attacking threat from the position, but all their efforts were in vain.
Cancelo has brought a whiff of fresh air to the flank on that front.
Since his arrival, the Portuguese has become an integral part of the team’s attacks and even drifts into central spaces to orchestrate the play. In six appearances for the club so far, the 29-year-old has scored two goals and provided one assist.
Considering that he no longer sees eye to eye with Pep Guardiola, a permanent move to Barcelona could work out well for all parties involved.
In fact, recent reports state that the club have already agreed on a £24.3 million transfer fee with City to sign Cancelo permanently.