Barcelona have made significant progress in their pursuit of João Cancelo, with transfer guru Fabrizio Romano suggesting it’s only a matter of time before he joins the club.
Ever since Ousmane Dembélé’s move to Paris Saint-Germain materialized and Barca got their hands on significant funds – believed to be in the region of €25m – the club’s hierarchy has been looking to hand Xavi a new right-back.
Cancelo has been high on their wish list since January but the Catalan giants lost the race for his signature in the winter window to Bayern Munich.
This summer, Arsenal have been touted as a potential suitor for the Portugal international following Jurrien Timber’s injury. The Dutchman is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his right knee.
João Cancelo edging closer to Barcelona
However, Romano suggests the Catalan giants are in advanced negotiations with Manchester City to sign Cancelo on loan, and are getting closer to meeting their demands. He adds that the loan deal will include a buy option clause for Barcelona.
Most importantly, the Portuguese only wants to join the La Liga giants and isn’t negotiating with any other club.
Cancelo has endured a dramatic last 12 months. At the start of the last season he was considered among the best full-backs in Europe but after the World Cup he swiftly fell out of favour under Pep Guardiola. His short stint at Bayern also didn’t work very well.
However, if Xavi can help Cancelo regain his confidence, Barcelona could have a right-back capable of carrying the attack from the right flank almost single-handedly. He managed 10 assists across all competitions during the 2021/22 season.
Should there be no late twists, the 29-year-old will become Barca’s fourth summer signing after Iñigo Martínez, İlkay Gündoğan, and Oriol Romeu.