Joao Cancelo Set to Depart City Amidst Strained Relationship with Guardiola

David Silva

Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo is expected to leave the club during the summer transfer window, after a fallout with Pep Guardiola. The Portuguese international fell out of favor at the Etihad Stadium last season and spent the latter half of the campaign on loan at Bayern Munich. Reports suggest that Manchester City will allow Cancelo to depart, with interest emerging from the Premier League, including Arsenal.

Cancelo Fallout with Guardiola

Rumors surrounding Cancelo’s time at City implied a rift between him and manager Pep Guardiola, although these reports have been quickly dismissed. However, Rudy Galetti claims that Cancelo’s departure is a result of a strained relationship with Guardiola. Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Galetti stated,

“After his experience with Bayern Munich, Cancelo will leave Manchester City this summer due to the bad relationship with Guardiola.”

Cancelo himself addressed the situation, denying any physical altercation with Guardiola but admitting to feeling unimportant to the team in recent games. He stated,

“I, the coach, and the club decided I had to leave, that it was the best option for me.”

Cancelo’s Time at the Etihad

After joining Manchester City from Juventus in 2019, Cancelo initially played a key role in the team. However, Guardiola’s tactical changes and the emergence of young talent like Rico Lewis have diminished Cancelo’s importance in the squad. The shift to a system without natural full-backs further contributed to his dissatisfaction.

As a result, it seems likely that Cancelo will seek a new challenge elsewhere. Arsenal has been mentioned as a potential destination. Former Aston Villa defender Alan Hutton suggesting that Cancelo would be a perfect fit for Mikel Arteta’s system.

The Potential Arsenal Move

Arsenal, who have cooled their interest in Real Valladolid defender Ivan Fresneda, reportedly have their sights set on acquiring Cancelo. Hutton believes that Cancelo’s ability to operate as a full-back who can also play in midfield aligns well with Arteta’s playing style. He stated,

“When Cancelo was playing with Man City, he was the first full-back to come into midfield and play inside, which is also how Arteta plays”.

lThe versatility and adaptability that Cancelo offers would strengthen Arsenal’s squad for the upcoming season.

Guardiola’s Stance on Player Sales

Guardiola is not opposed to selling players to rival clubs, suggesting that the situation with Cancelo may be no different. The Portuguese is under contract at Man City until June 2027 and has won multiple trophies during his time at the club. However, Cancelo’s strained relationship with Guardiola seems to have brought his tenure to a premature end.

Arsenal are hopeful in securing the signing of Cancelo. It would undoubtedly bolster their squad and enhance their prospects for the future.

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