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Barcelona advancing in Joao Cancelo pursuit as Manchester City await offers for out-of-favour defender



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Barcelona are stepping up their efforts to bring Manchester City right-back Joao Cancelo to Camp Nou this summer, as per multiple reports.

Cancelo fell out with City boss Pep Guardiola in January before joining Bayern Munich on loan for the remainder of the campaign. Despite featuring in pre-season, the Portugal international is still expected to seal a permanent departure from the Etihad Stadium.

It has been indicated that there is no chance of Cancelo returning in favour under Guardiola ahead of the new season as Manchester City look to resolve the 29-year-old’s future in the remainder of the transfer window.

With Kyle Walker believed to be keen on joining Bayern Munich too, City could fall desperately short of cover in the wider areas of defence should Cancelo be moved on as well.

However, Guardiola is expected to finally get his hands on RB Leipzig centre-half Josko Gvardiol this week, which would boost City’s backline despite allowing Aymeric Laporte to find a desired move away from the club subsequently.

As per Mundo Deportivo, whose information has been relayed by Sport Witness, Barcelona and Xavi admire Cancelo and are highly keen on taking the Manchester City full-back on loan and cover all of his wages.

However, Manchester City would prefer a permanent sale and are expected to set an asking price that would be difficult for the Catalan club to match amidst their financial troubles.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta is expected to play a key role in negotiations with the treble winners over Cancelo, who is believed to be worth around €50 million.

AS have added that talks are advancing over an operation that would bring the former Benfica man to Spain, though it has been doubled down that Barcelona can, at present, only afford to take the defender on loan.

It is believed that super agent Jorge Mendes could act as a ‘transmission belt’ between Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano and Barca sporting director Mateu Alemany.

In his exclusive Daily Briefing this week, Fabrizio Romano provided an update on Barcelona’s pursuit of the defender. He said: “Barcelona love (Joao) Cancelo, this hasn’t changed. At the moment they can’t move for this kind of deal, so nothing is immediate and it could take time.

“That’s why other clubs still have chances to enter the race but this hasn’t happened as of now. I still expect Cancelo to leave (Manchester) City this summer.”