Guardiola ‘didn’t’ agree with me – Joao Cancelo lifts lid on Man City exit amid fallout rumours

Jason Soutar
Pep Guardiola and Joao Cancelo after a match

Joao Cancelo has revealed there was not a big fallout with Pep Guardiola which led to his move from Manchester City to Bayern Munich.

The Portuguese defender signed for the Bundesliga champions in the January transfer window, joining on loan for the rest of the season.

There were reports that Cancelo had fallen out with City manager Guardiola before leaving last month.

The Spaniard preferred to play Nathan Ake and Rico Lewis in Cancelo’s position prior to his exit, which did lead to a disagreement between the player and manager, but nothing too volatile.

Cancelo told Portuguese newspaper O Jogo: “As I already said, he [Guardiola] found a way to play, after the World Cup, in which he started playing with a full-back more inside, where I also played, and he liked what he saw with Rico and Nathan.

“I respected his decision because I have to and this is a team of great footballers.

“But I think a player is always a bit selfish. Any player wants to feel important, wants to play and anyone who says otherwise is lying. A competitive player, like me, who aspires to win titles, just wants to play.

“It’s like Pep said, I need to play to be happy.

“It’s not a question of devaluing my teammates, because others are on the bench to play. But I thought I deserved to play and he didn’t.”

Cancelo lifted the lid on his “conversation” with Guardiola prior to his “mutually” agreed exit.

“So we talked, it was a conversation, not a discussion, and we decided that the best thing would be for me to leave this market. An opportunity I couldn’t refuse. But I’m very grateful to City and the fans.

“I’m a passionate player, I was robbed one day and the next I was playing against Arsenal, it seems that some people forget that and give the idea that I wanted to forcefully leave City.

“It was by mutual agreement. If City didn’t want to, they wouldn’t let me leave, because I had a contract. I’m very professional, I’ve always given my face for all the clubs. I have a difficult personality, yes, but I have never, at any time, disrespected teammates or coaches.

“There was not much thought [to join Bayern]. I spoke with City, we were in mutual agreement that the best thing would be to change clubs and this opportunity arose for Bayern. I decided to have a new adventure. I like that and showing my football in every country I go to, it was a good opportunity and I accepted it.”

Cancelo did admit that he does not know what the future holds for him.

“Bayern have a purchase option, I don’t know if they will exercise it or not, but while I’m here I’ll do my best,” he added.

“Pep is impressive as a coach, he makes the players evolve and makes them reach a very high level. Bernardo is the person I miss the most here. He was my psychologist. Rúben Dias just wants to go to the gym.”

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