Arsenal hold ‘verbal talks’ with Premier League target but squabble over ‘valuation’ of star

Ben Stewart
3rd September 2022; Villa Park, Aston, Midlands, England ; Premier League Football, Aston Villa versus Manchester City; Joao Cancelo and Ruben Dias of Manchester City

Arsenal have held early talks with Manchester City regarding Joao Cancelo, but they have not yet come to an agreement over his valuation.

The Portuguese full-back was considered as one of the best defenders in the world during the 2021-22 campaign.

After some unrest behind the scenes at the Etihad, he spent the second half of the 2022-23 season on loan with Bayern Munich.

The 29-year-old appeared in 15 Bundesliga matches and produced five goal contributions in that time.

Mikel Arteta does seem keen on a move for the Man City man, although the two clubs have not yet come to an agreement over his valuation.

“Arsenal also in the market to strengthen in defence and at full-back. It’s another Man City player they are interested in – Joao Cancelo,” Dharmesh Sheth told Sky Sports.

“Bayern Munich didn’t take up the option to buy him on a permanent basis. He’s still got two years left on his contract [with Man City] so he won’t come cheap.

“The early suggestions are is that there is a gap in valuation in early verbal talks between the two clubs about what Man City would want and what Arsenal would be prepared to offer.”

As the full-back still has two years of his contract to run, Man City are in a strong position to dictate his valuation.

Arsenal have a reputation for going after Man City players after they snatched Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko last summer.

They also hold an interest in soon-to-be out-of-contract star Ilkay Gundogan, although the player has not yet decided on his next move.

A deal for Cancelo could still be on the table for Arsenal, although the two clubs would have to come to a mutual agreement over his valuation.

Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio doesn’t think that Guardiola would stand in Cancelo’s way if Arsenal make a move for him.

“I don’t think Guardiola is a coach who’ll say no, you don’t have to go there – because he’s superior. He thinks he’s superior in every dynamic situation in football,” Di Marzio told wettfreunde.

“I don’t think he’d put a negative situation for him (Joao Cancelo) to go.

“And I don’t think that Guardiola wants to say no to Arsenal or Arteta because he’s a big friend of Arteta. I don’t think he’ll say no.”

Capable of playing on the left or right, Cancelo would be a great asset to a club like Arsenal. Time will tell if they can strike a deal.

READ MORE: What is the most valuable football club brand in the world? Premier League big six dominate top ten