Arsenal want to beat Barcelona to complete a deadline-day move for Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo, according to reports.
The Portugal international spent the second half of last season on loan at Bayern Munich, making 11 starts in the Bundesliga, providing four goal contributions.
His switch to Germany caught many by surprise but it quickly became clear there was a falling out between himself and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola preferred more defensive-minded full-backs last term, which paid off as his side won the FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League.
Bayern were reportedly offered the chance to sign Cancelo on a permanent basis but Thomas Tuchel was not keen which has opened the door for Barcelona.
And transfer expert Fabrizio Romano claims there is likely to be “Barcelona madness” on deadline day with Cancelo “waiting for the green light to travel” to Catalunya.
“Get ready,” Romano announced on his YouTube channel, “because Deadline Day is going to be Barcelona madness. In addition to Ansu Fati, who is heading to Brighton on loan, there could be three more major deals.
“Let’s see what happens with [Ez] Abde – at the moment there is still no green light from Barca to let him leave, but [Real] Betis will try until the end. Again, Barca, at the moment, are not approving the move, but Betis are still there, still trying, still hoping to sign Abde.
“And then, Joao Cancelo is just waiting for the green light to travel [to Barcelona]. The option-to-buy clause will be removed from the deal with Manchester City not to have any impact on the Financial Fair Play situation, but Joao Cancelo is just waiting for the green light and then he will join Barcelona on a loan deal from Man City.”
But now VBet News journalist Hrach Khachatryan is insisting that Arsenal are eyeing up a potential season-long loan deal for the Man City full-back.
Khachatryan wrote on Twitter: “Arsenal are in contact with Joao Cancelo representatives. They are exploring option to loan him until the end of this season.”
Jurrien Timber has been ruled out for a number of months with an injury and Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has not ruled out sorting the issue in the transfer market.
“Huge blow,” the Spanish manager told reporters last month. “Especially for him after just joining the club. We recruited him with clear intentions and what he was bringing to the team was evident.
“I’m more thinking about the resources in the team to do what we want to do. But it’s true he was giving us a lot on both sides. We are always open and we have to be open as well to the injuries but also to react to the market.
“It’s never my decision. It’s a lot of people. My focus is on getting the best out of the squad right now. That’s my aim.”