Man City transfer is ‘advanced’ – Romano reveals player ‘only wants Barcelona’ amid Arsenal interest

Jason Soutar
Joao Cancelo with the Barcelona badge.
Manchester City full-back reportedly wants to join Barcelona.

Manchester City outcast Joao Cancelo is eager to join Barcelona, who will sign him on loan using the money received from the sale of Ousmane Dembele, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The Portuguese full-back 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 – who was not included in City’s squad for their Premier League opening-day victory at Burnley – on a permanent basis but Thomas Tuchel was not keen which has opened the door for Barcelona.

The former Juventus defender has also been linked with Arsenal this summer and there has been talk of the Gunners reigniting their interest after Jurrien Timber suffered a serious knee injury.

However, this appears to be unlikely with the player pushing to join Barcelona from City.

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Fabrizio Romano reported early this week that the La Liga champions are preparing an offer to sign Cancelo on loan with the option to buy after reaching an agreement on personal terms.

The Blaugrana are prepared to reinvest some of the £43.5million made from the sale of Ousmane Dembele to Paris Saint-Germain, the Italian journalist added.

And Romano has since said it is a “matter of time” until the transfer is finalised with negotiations with City “advanced”.

An update from Romano on Saturday morning stated that both clubs will have more talks this weekend as there is no agreement on salary coverage and a loan fee, but it is “getting closer”.

Amidst rumours linking Cancelo to Arsenal, Romano said in his CaughtOffside column that the 29-year-old “only wants to go to Barcelona”.

The transfer expert insists the move “is probably going to happen” even though there is no agreement on the buy option, how much salary Barca will pay and the loan fee.

With Arsenal no longer in the race to sign Cancelo from their Premier League rivals, it is unclear whether or not Mikel Arteta will sign a new defender with Timber expected to miss the vast majority of 2023/24.

The Gunners have been strongly linked with RB Leipzig’s Mohamed Simakan but no bid has been made.

The main focus for Arteta and his director of football, Edu Gaspar, is to offload some players.

Nicolas Pepe, Cedric Soares and Nuno Tavares are all believed to be surplus to requirements, while Folarin Balogun is available for £50million.

Surprisingly, Chelsea have emerged as a potential transfer destination for Balogun, who is also tickling the fancy of AS Monaco and Inter.

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