Pep Guardiola names Man City star that could join Barcelona

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has indicated that Joao Cancelo may rejoin the team this summer if Barcelona does not finalize a transfer agreement for the defender.

Cancelo has been absent from City’s lineup for over a year.

His last competitive game for City was in January 2023, a full 90-minute match against Manchester United, which ended in a 2-1 defeat.

Shortly after, Cancelo was loaned to Bayern Munich, where he appeared in 21 games. However, Bayern chose not to make the move permanent at the end of the 2022-23 season.

The Portuguese defender, who is set to play for his nation at Euro 2024, spent the previous season on loan at Barcelona, where he was a key player in the first team, featuring in 42 matches across all competitions.

With his current loan deal concluding this month, Cancelo’s future remains uncertain. He may continue with Barcelona if an agreement is reached that benefits all involved.

Otherwise, he is expected to be part of City’s squad for their upcoming pre-season tour of the USA starting in late July.

‘It has to be the best for everyone,’ Guardiola said this week while attending a golf event in Girona. ‘The two clubs will sit down.

‘He is our player and, if an agreement is not reached, he will have to return in the pre-season.

‘If he wants to stay here [at Barcelona], and the clubs agree, it will be done again.’

It was widely reported that Cancelo and Guardiola were actually involved in a heated row before his first loan exit from the club.

But, Cancelo has denied this and he told Mundo Deportivo last year: ‘It’s a lie that I had a fight with Guardiola, a complete lie.

‘I didn’t feel important to the team in recent games. I spoke to the coach and he agreed.

‘I, the coach and the club decided that I had to leave, that it was the best option for me. I like new opportunities and I have nothing against City.’

Cancelo has three more years remaining on his contract with Manchester City, which he signed in February 2022. He has been a part of the City squad since August 2019, having transferred from Juventus.

JB

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