Deal agreed: Manchester City to sell “outstanding player”; fee now even less than first reported


Those at the Etihad were hoping to receive more…

Manchester City have agreed a cut-price deal to sell an “outstanding player” next summer, reports have suggested.

Who is leaving Man City?

It has been a summer of change at the Etihad following a historic treble-winning campaign under Pep Guardiola. A number of players arrived and departed the club in recent months, with the likes of Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte all moving on. Cole Palmer made a big-money move to Chelsea, whereas Josko Gvardiol, Matheus Nunes, Jeremy Doku and Mateo Kovacic were the main arrivals ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Meanwhile, Joao Cancelo, who spent the second half of last season on loan with Bayern Munich, made the move to Spain on a temporary loan deal with Barcelona.

Is Joao Cancelo permanently signing for Barcelona?

The versatile full-back has made six appearances for the Catalan giants so far, already contributing to an impressive three goals, and recent reports claimed that a verbal agreement had already been reached with Barcelona over a permanent €35m (£30.4m) transfer. However, a new update has emerged suggesting that the fee is even lower and that a transfer now appears to be ready to go.

According to The Daily Star, Barcelona have agreed a cut-price £24.3m deal with City for Cancelo. The report adds that City actually wanted closer to £55m for the player after a major breakdown in Cancelo’s relationship with Guardiola, but talks with Barcelona have now concluded successfully with a deal to go through next summer.

Cancelo was hailed an “outstanding player” Bayern’s director Hasan Salihamidzic during his loan spell in Germany, whereas the player has already been praised by Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez, alongside fellow loan signing Joao Felix.

“We are talking about two players whose individual quality is beyond doubt. You see them train and you see their greatness. Cancelo comes from a coach (Pep Guardiola) who for me is the best and he interprets everything very well. We have spoken to him and he has understood. With Joao Felix we watched a video with him yesterday. They both give variants that make the team better. Physically, they are strong. They raise the quality of the team, which in general has been very good.”

So far, the Portugal international has been playing as a right-back for Barcelona, although as Man City will know well, he can also play further forward or on the left, offering plenty of versatility to Xavi’s side.

As per FBref, Cancelo has been one of the best-attacking full-backs in the world over the past 12 months, ranking in the top 5% for assists, passes attempted, progressive carries and successful take-ons. Defensively, Cancelo also has a respectable percentile ranking for tackles won, interceptions, ball recoveries and aerials won, showing his all-round ability.

Valued at €50m by Transfermarkt, you could argue that Barcelona are getting the better end of the deal for Cancelo, but with the player and Guardiola’s relationship damaged, a permanent move away appears to be best for all involved and it looks as if one will go through.