Joao Cancelo’s Future Remains Unclear at Barcelona

Joao Cancelo is currently plying his trade at Barcelona following a September loan move from Manchester City. The full-back, who can play on both the right and the left side of the pitch, has an unclear future where his parent club are concerned, but recent performances for Barca suggest his future with the Spanish giants remains just as unclear.

Cancelo, 29, signed for Pep Guardiola, a Barcelona legend, at Man City in 2019 in a big-money move from Juventus. Guardiola was keen to add real quality in depth to the full-back positions in his squad, and the Portugal international defender fitted the bill. It was a move that worked, too, as proven by the football match betting odds at the time, which represented City as the dominant force in English and European football. However, it was a case of it working until it didn’t.

When Cancelo signed for City, he did so believing he’d become a starting full-back, even though players such as Kyle Walker were still at the club. Eventually, Cancelo became unhappy that Walker was getting the nod over him at right back, and this led to a series of flashpoints before Guardiola decided moving Cancelo on temporarily, first to Bayern Munich and then subsequently to Barcelona, was the best decision for all parties.

Cancelo joining Barca was seen as a great signing for the club. He ticked the box where ability was concerned and was versatile, too. He’s a player that manager Xavi was keen to bring in, and so it’s proven as Cancelo has been in the vast majority of starting XIs, be it at right back or left back. On the face of it, you’d think that if a deal can be done between the hierarchies of City and Barca, Cancelo would be likely to stay at Camp Nou, especially as a future with the former looks highly unlikely. The player himself has expressed a desire to make the switch, too.

However, Cancelo’s recent performances against PSG and Real Madrid have led to many questioning whether it would be the right decision to keep the Portuguese defender past the end of his loan spell. It was a disastrous week, and that’s what it could be in isolation, but there are the financial implications to consider with Barca’s current predicament unclear and one that requires handling with care. It’s been a disappointing season on the pitch, which will also play a role in planning for next season.

There’s no indication yet as to whether Cancelo will get his wish to stay at Barcelona, be it on a permanent deal or another loan agreement, with the full-back contracted to City until 2027 after he penned a bumper deal in 2022. His agent, Jorge Mendes, suggests Cancelo is likely to stay at Camp Nou after President Joan Laporta revealed that the super agent “knows our intentions.” Still, he did add that it would be a case of extending the loan agreement rather than a permanent transfer to the club.

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