Barcelona director Deco has confirmed the club want to sign Joao Cancelo permanently.
Joining the Catalan giants on a season-long loan from Manchester City in the summer, Cancelo, 29, was viewed as a shrewd piece of business.
However, the nature of the Portugal international’s move stemmed from a falling out with Pep Guardiola, and so a return to the Etihad has always felt unlikely.
And confirming suspicions, Deco, who has spoken recently about the long-term futures of both Cancelo and Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix, also on loan, revealed the club’s intentions to sign both permanently.
“Cancelo is doing very well, Felix started very well too and he brought us very important points. It will depend on many factors,” he said, as quoted by Fabrizio Romano.
“We will try to sign both of them.”
Signing both will prove difficult — the levels at which they play will be hard pills for Manchester City and Atletico Madrid to swallow. However, with neither really having a place in their club’s futures, it seems negotiating their sales are the pair’s only real option.
Cancelo, especially, would be a top acquisition for whichever manager ends up replacing Xavi at the end of the season. The 29-year-old, despite his clashes with Guardiola, is undoubtedly one of Europe’s best full-backs, and that is proven by his trophy haul which includes three Premier League titles.
During his time at the Nou Camp, Cancelo, whose deal with City expires in 2027, has scored three goals and registered three assists in 25 games in all competitions.