Joao Cancelo has largely been considered Barcelona’s best bet as a new right-back for the coming season. After all, Xavi Hernandez prefers experience over longevity and the Portuguese international provides just that.
SPORT, however, report that the operation is now increasingly complicated. The economic differences between Barcelona and Manchester City are too large to be bridged, forcing Joan Laporta to look at other options.
Difference in position
Unlike the case with Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo is not fundamental to Pep Guardiola’s plans in England.
The Portuguese international spent the second half of the last season on loan at Bayern Munich and it is clear that City plan to part ways with him.
The difference between Barcelona’s and Man City’s stance, however, is the means of transfer.
The Premier League side prefer to sell Cancelo permanently this summer, while Barcelona can only afford a loan with a purchase clause.
Only an astronomical sale can help talks progress
The Azulgranas are currently in a position where they cannot afford to shell out Man City’s asking price despite having an agreement with the player.
Only a massive sale can help them through the negotiations with Manchester City, for the English side will not compromise on their demands.
Ansu Fati currently appears to be close to the exit door with both PSG and Saudi Arabia enquiring about his services. However, sacrificing one of the club’s best talents for a 29-year-old defender may not be the best way forward.
Two options remain
With Cancelo out of the equation, two options stand out on Barcelona’s wishlist – Ivan Fresneda and Juan Foyth.
Several members of the Barça administration are in favour of Fresneda’s incorporation given his high ceiling and young age.
However, Xavi doubts his ability to immediately start for a club of Barcelona’s stature.
Villarreal’s 25-year-old right-back, Juan Foyth, has also emerged as a leading option in recent days.
The hurdle on that front, however, is his mammoth release clause of €54.6 million.