·31 May 2023
·31 May 2023
Pep Guardiola raised the collective eyebrow of the footballing world when he opted to dump unicorn full-back off to Bayern Munich midway through the 2022/23 season.
Canelo, an utterly unique footballer given his skillset, once appeared to be an indispensable member of City's juggernaut, but a diminished role after the 2022 World Cup saw his relationship with the boss become somewhat strained.
Guardiola's change in tack saw the introduction of four centre-backs across City's defensive line which left little room for Cancelo.
A loan move to Bayern followed in January with both of the clubs Cancelo represented in 2022/23 ending the season as champions. Everyone's a winner! However, with his future at City up in the air and a permanent move to Bayern far from guaranteed, there are doubts over where the Portuguese international will be playing his football next season.
Cancelo, however, does have a number of suitors.
Xavi could call for Joao Cancelo / Alex Caparros/GettyImages
Barcelona's ambition knows no bounds despite their financial misery, and 90min understands that Cancelo, a player they've had their eye on for a while, is on their summer wish list.A January move was impossible due to La Liga's Financial Fair Play regulations but with Jordi Alba now a goner and Jules Kounde looking to play centrally, there's potentially space on either side of Barca's defence.Re-signing Lionel Messi is the club's priority, which would make any kind of permanent deal for Cancelo difficult to achieve, but there's no knowing just how many levers Joan Laporta has left to pull in order to get what he wants.
Mikel Arteta is looking to rebuild and go again / Clive Mason/GettyImages
Arsenal are never too far away when a player wants out of Manchester City. The Gunners snapped up Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko last summer, with both playing leading roles in the club's excellent 2022/23 season that for so long looked like would culminate in Premier League glory.The Cityzens, in the absence of Cancelo, however, woke up down the stretch and eventually strolled to their third-straight title. `A busy summer beckons in north London as Arsenal attempt to bridge the gap between themselves and the champions, and sources have confirmed to 90min that Cancelo is of interest. Mikel Arteta only briefly worked with the full-back in Manchester, and there's no doubt the Portuguese international would thrive within his framework.However, will City make the same mistake and allow a player of Cancelo's talent to waltz into the lap of a potential title contender for years to come? That remains to be seen.
Thomas Tuchel could try to retain Cancelo / Stefan Matzke - sampics/GettyImages
Bayern have first dibs on Cancelo this summer, owing to the €70m optional purchase clause in his loan deal, but it's unlikely that will be triggered.Instead, rather than walk away from him altogether, Bayern may look to do business at around €40m to €50m - prices that are a little more reflective of Cancelo's standing in the market.With Benjamin Pavard's future uncertain - he's generating interest from Manchester United among others - that may be a smart route for the Bavarians to take.
Carlo Ancelotti isn't blessed with depth at full-back / Fran Santiago/GettyImages
Real Madrid have fallen short of the mark this season, with their Copa del Rey success over Osasuna failing to paper over the cracks of a number of inconsisent performances.One area that undoubtedly needs strengthening is full-back, particularly on the right-hand side. Dani Carvajal remains Real's number one choice but he doesn't really have quality competition for his place - the veteran is also past his best and is not getting any younger.It's 90min's understanding that Real have explored a move for Cancelo, so don't be surprised if Los Blancos come from left field with a cheeky bid.
Cancelo in action against Lionel Messi in the Champions League / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages
One club always likely to be in the mix for a player like Joao Cancelo is Paris Saint-Germain.The Ligue 1 giants have money oozing out of their paws and often take advantage when others dither in the transfer market, with the sole ambition to strengthen their squad in the hope of winning the Champions League.Cancelo has experience of getting to the final with City and would complement a healthy talent pool that includes Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes.
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