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Barcelona target €25 million agreement with Manchester City – Relationship deteriorated with Pep Guardiola

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La Liga giants FC Barcelona are eyeing a cut-price deal for Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo during the upcoming summer market, according to fresh reports.

The 29-year-old has significantly fallen out of favour at the Etihad Stadium and specifically under manager Pep Guardiola, having first been excluded from the first-team starting line-ups over one year ago.

Upon Cancelo’s return from the FIFA World Cup in 2022, Guardiola leaned more towards the use of breakthrough Academy talent Rico Lewis and complimented by the experience of Kyle Walker in higher-profile, more suited fixtures.

As a result, Joao Cancelo and his representatives sought out a quick exit from the club and secured a six-month loan deal at Bayern Munich, which expired last summer without the German club activating their option to buy on the full-back.

With Barcelona swooping in during the most recent summer transfer window, the Catalan club are now looking towards the coming market with a view to making their ongoing temporary agreement a permanent one.

According to the information of Spanish newspaper Sport, as translated and relayed by Sport Witness, Barcelona sporting director Deco and agent Jorge Mendes have to negotiate a deal with Manchester City in order to retain the services of Joao Cancelo.

It is explained that the Portugal international defender’s relationship with City boss Pep Guardiola has deteriorated and this, alongside the player’s firm desire to continue in Spain, is an ‘advantage’ for Barcelona officials when negotiating with the Premier League champions.

The newspaper goes on to claim that Barcelona officials will try to secure a deal for the Manchester City defender for less than €25 million, which would likely mark a significant price cut given the player’s contractual situation at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City are unlikely to seek a direct replacement for Cancelo during the upcoming market, but could almost certainly analyse whether a new full-back recruit is required given Kyle Walker’s age.

Yan Couto is a name that City officials are monitoring carefully, with the Brazil international currently plying his trade on loan at Girona in their high-flying La Liga campaign and challenge with Real Madrid at the top of the division.

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