·27 November 2023
·27 November 2023
When Barcelona signed Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix on the summer transfer deadline day on loan from Manchester City and Atletico Madrid, respectively, it was seen as a coup.
And the way the two Portuguese internationals started off in the Blaugrana colours meant that there was already talk about Barça making their transfers permanent at the end of the season.
Barcelona’s new sporting director, Deco, also insisted in an interview in the past that the club would want to keep both Cancelo and Felix around beyond the ongoing campaign.
“There is no doubt that we want to have them next season because they are valid for the squad,” he had said two weeks ago.
Now, though, speaking in an interview with Portuguese publication A Bola (h/t SPORT), Deco has stated that this is not the time to discuss the possible permanent transfers of Joao Felix and Cancelo and that it is too early to make a decision.
“We are very happy with the performance of both of them. They bring a lot of quality to the squad. Now it’s too early to talk about their situations and we’ll have time to make decisions,” Deco said about his compatriots.
Having previously spoken about wanting to keep the ‘Joaos’ around beyond next season, Deco has now become coy on the subject, as he further added:
“Now is the time for the players to focus on the club’s objectives and try to win as much as possible in all competitions. Anything else to talk about at this moment is speculation.”
Deco coy on the future of Cancelo, Felix. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images)
One of the reasons behind Deco’s coy response could be the fact that Barcelona might be unable to sign both Cancelo and Felix on permanent transfers.
If reports are true, it would take at least €100 million for the La Liga champions to bring both players in permanently, something that is out of the question due to their finances.
Loan extensions could again be explored, but Manchester City and Atletico Madrid might look to get rid of Cancelo and Felix on a permanent basis, making things tricky.
During the interview, Deco also discussed Barcelona’s upcoming UEFA Champions League clash against FC Porto.
The Catalans take on the Portuguese giants knowing that a win would take them through to the Round of 16.
“It was difficult for us to win at O Dragao. Porto are a good team who don’t drop off in away atmospheres. It’s going to be a difficult game and hopefully, we can win it. I’d honestly like both teams to qualify,” Deco acknowledged.