Man City ‘to sell’ Barcelona target amid ‘inner circle’ reveal with two clubs to ‘pay asking price’

Lewis Oldham
Cancelo Foden Man City
Phil Foden and Joao Cancelo.

Barcelona have reportedly been dealt a blow in the race to sign Portugal star Joao Cancelo as two clubs are ready to ‘pay Manchester City’s asking price’.

Cancelo was ushered out of the door by head coach Pep Guardiola during the 2023 January transfer window after they pair butted heads over his game time.

The 30-year-old had previously been one of the standout full-backs in the Premier League but Man City have coped well without him and recently won the league for the fourth successive season.

The Portugal full-back struggled while on loan at Bayern Munich in 2022/23 but shone during his spell at Barcelona. He grabbed four goals and five assists for the Spanish giants across all competitions.

Barcelona are keen to sign Cancelo permanently, but journalist Mark Brus claims he is a target of two Saudi Pro League clubs.

“Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo is a target for clubs in the Saudi Pro League as well as some big names in Europe as his club look to sell him this summer,” Brus said in his Daily Briefing column.

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“Sources with a close understanding of the situation have informed the Daily Briefing that Cancelo has been approached by some Saudi clubs, with Al Ahli and Al Ettifaq among the teams to have held talks with the Portugal international’s inner circle.

“Juventus and Inter Milan also remain interested and have been in touch about a potential deal as well, while Cancelo still has an agreement on personal terms with Barcelona after spending last season on loan there.

“The 30-year-old may not be affordable for Barca to sign permanently due to their Financial Fair Play issues, but it seems he’d be ready to return there, while Man City would be ready to sell the player for around €25-30m.”

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Brus claims Saudi teams “would be willing” to meet Man City’s asking price, while European sides “would favour a cheaper deal”.

“At the moment, the Daily Briefing understands that Saudi clubs would be willing to pay that asking price, but European suitors would favour a cheaper deal,” Brus added.

“Although Cancelo was happy at Barcelona, it remains to be seen if a compromise can be reached between City and the Catalan giants or if his career will now have to continue elsewhere, and possibly as the next big name to leave Europe for the ever-growing Saudi league.”