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Pep Guardiola issues six-word response on Joao Cancelo’s Manchester City future following Barcelona and Saudi Arabia links



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has provided an answer to recent questions surrounding the long-term future of Joao Cancelo.

The Portugal international hasn’t played for Manchester City since January 2023, after dramatically quitting the club for Bayern Munich and Barcelona following a rumoured training ground bust-up with manager Pep Guardiola.

Cancelo is contracted at the Etihad Stadium until 2027, but spent the second-half of the 2022/23 season at the Allianz Arena prior to completing a season-long loan move to La Liga giants Barcelona.

The 29-year-old made 154 appearances for the Sky Blues between 2019 and 2023, and also featured during Guardiola’s pre-season tour of east Asia, before being omitted for competitive Manchester City matches in August.

Cancelo has spent the current campaign at Barcelona, where the full-back has made 36 appearances across La Liga and the UEFA Champions League, but has recently faced scrutiny following a series of high-profile errors.

Nou Camp bosses are expected to attempt to extend the defender’s loan for another season, however Etihad officials could be set to cash-in on Cancelo, as Guardiola seeks to find funds to further bolster his first-team squad.

The right-back isn’t expected to have a future at Manchester City despite having a long-term contract, with both Arsenal and Saudi Pro League clubs reportedly showing a recent interest in the defender.

Manchester City manager Guardiola refused to comment on plans for the 29-year-old, stating that the future of Cancelo would be discussed “at the end of the season.”

The Cityzens travel to Brighton on Thursday evening, resuming their Premier League title bid with a trip to the AMEX Stadium, having seen Arsenal move four points clear at the top with recent wins over both Wolves and Chelsea.

Manchester City will be crowned Premier League champions for a fourth successive season if they win all six of their remaining matches, with games against Brighton, Nottingham Forest, Wolves, Fulham, Tottenham and West Ham scheduled.