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Agent holds talks with Manchester City over Barcelona exit for outcast defender



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Representatives of Manchester City and Portugal international Joao Cancelo have held talks over the possibility of an extended return to FC Barcelona from next season.

The 12-month loan agreement of the outcast Etihad defender expired this week, meaning Cancelo is currently on course for a Manchester City return on the pre-season tour of the United States at the end of this month unless a new exit can be negotiated.

It is an identical situation to that of last season, when Cancelo returned from a six-month loan deal with Bayern Munich, only to return for Manchester City during their excursions in far-east Asia ahead of the recently-concluded 2023/24 campaign.

However, there is a clear intention from the part of Cancelo’s most-recent team Barcelona to extend his stay at the club, whether that be through a permanent agreement in the coming weeks or a renewed loan deal with Manchester City.

According to the information of transfer market insider Fabrizio Romano, the situation of João Cancelo ‘remains open’ for FC Barcelona this summer, while talks have already taken place with his agent Jorge Mendes to keep the defender for next season.

It is further explained that despite the formal expiration of his season-long loan deal with the La Liga club, ‘discussions are to continue’ on the club’s side and in particular, with Premier League champions Manchester City.

With Etihad Stadium bosses currently having Joao Cancelo contracted until the summer of 2027, they would likely be forced into sanctioning a significantly cut-price deal this window if they were intent on allowing him to leave permanently.

For Barcelona, the La Liga giants are unlikely to be able to afford a significant transfer fee for the player, as the club resorts to smaller cut-price deals and loan agreements for players from across Europe as they equip Hansi Flick for the new season.

One player that is looking increasingly unlikely to make a move to the Camp Nou club is Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva, with the Catalan side’s bosses unable to afford the player’s seemingly ‘bargain’ £50 million Etihad Stadium release clause.

It remains to be seen whether the Portuguese playmaker is able to field offers from elsewhere in the coming weeks and months, should he remain entirely insistent on a move away from Manchester City in search of a more favourable environment.