Unthinkable Man City exit becomes concrete possibility as Guardiola decision opens Champions League transfer route

Erling Haaland, Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva Credit: Alamy
Erling Haaland, Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva Credit: Alamy

Manchester City could receive offers for one of their best performers from last season after a change of stance by Pep Guardiola, a report has claimed.

As the reigning Premier League champions, Man City’s squad features many players who would be welcome additions to almost any side in the world. Fortunately for Guardiola, City are usually in a strong enough position to keep their best assets.

However, over the summer, they began to allow exits for some players who weren’t fully happy with their situations at the club. They said goodbye to the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Now, another potential departure from City is supposedly coming under consideration – and it is one that would barely have been imaginable last year.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Joao Cancelo is now facing an “uncertain future” at the Etihad Stadium.

Cancelo was in extraordinary form for City last season, playing 52 times in all competitions. He contributed 10 assists and three goals, proving to be particularly effective from left-back.

Recognition of his talents arrived when he earned a place in the PFA team of the year for the second consecutive campaign.

This season, his involvement has still been decent. From 25 appearances, Cancelo has provided five assists and two goals.

However, he is yet to complete 90 minutes in a Premier League match since returning from the World Cup (although he did complete the full duration of the Carabao Cup defeat to Southampton). Consequently, clubs across Europe are sensing an opportunity to sign him.

The report from the Telegraph claims that Cancelo already has suitors in Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A, Germany’s Bundesliga and France’s Ligue 1. All his admirers will be of Champions League calibre.

His most recent contract extension with City came 11 months ago, tying him down until 2027. However, Cancelo is now being monitored by other teams.

Joao Cancelo worth keeping but could earn Man City profit

It will be interesting to see what kind of bids City might receive for the Portugal international. The report suggests summer activity is more likely than anything in January.

By that point, there is every chance Cancelo could have regained his place in Guardiola’s lineup. If not, though, plenty of clubs will be waiting to pounce.

The 28-year-old’s stance on a departure from City is not explicitly clear at this stage. But a player of his pedigree will surely feel worthy of earning regular starts at the highest level.

Before joining City, Cancelo had spells with Benfica, Valencia, Inter and Juventus. He is obviously a player who is accustomed to representing elite clubs. But whether he will remain with City for the long term is currently up for question.

If he does depart, City will likely be able to take in a significant transfer fee. Their package to sign him was worth around £50million and since then he has added three medals to his cabinet, with two Premier League titles and one Carabao Cup prize.

Given the length of time remaining on his contract and his age, Cancelo should be even more valuable now. Perhaps City could sell him and then reinvest, in a similar strategy to the one they used in the summer.

After all, Cancelo’s natural position of right-back is still covered by Kyle Walker, although the England international is older. Thus, City will be weighing up the balance of their full-back options.

Cancelo is certainly someone worth keeping around as long as he is happy. Now, it is up to Guardiola to ensure that he is and remains so by the summer.

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