Premier League • England

European giants leapfrog Arsenal in battle for Man City star; Gunners ‘agree terms’ with alternative target

Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva of Man City

Man City stars Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva

Barcelona are reportedly ‘favourites’ to sign Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo, who is also a target for Arsenal.

The Portugal international has put in some fantastic performances in a Man City shirt but has been deemed surplus to requirements by Pep Guardiola.

Indeed, Cancelo was sent out on loan to Bayern Munich in the second half of last season. The official reason was for more consistent playing time, although, there have been rumours of a fallout between him and Guardiola.

Overall, he made 21 appearances for the German giants, scoring one goal and making six assists.

Nevertheless, Bayern turned down the chance to sign Cancelo permanently for a fee of approximately £62m. But, he is still expected to be sold this summer.

As reported by TEAMtalk, Arsenal have been ‘in contact’ with Cancelo’s entourage over a potential summer move.

Mikel Arteta is keen to add another right-sided defender to his squad, as he looks for cover for Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu.

But, fresh reports suggest the manager will have to look for alternatives to Cancelo.

READ MORE: Arsenal transfers: Fabrizio Romano reveals Gunners star will meet Edu ‘in days’ to discuss big summer move

Barcelona ‘leading the race’ for Cancelo

In a recent interview, reputed transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano was asked what options Arsenal were looking at for the right-back position.

Speaking to CaughtOffsideRomano said: “Joao Cancelo is one of the players appreciated.

“They had talks with his agent but Barcelona are favourites to sign Joao. For Arsenal, their priority target is Jurrien Timber now.”

Indeed, Timber seems to have usurped Cancelo as the Gunner’s primary defensive target, as it stands.

Arsenal have reportedly ‘made an offer’ for the Ajax centre-back, who can also play as a right-back. An agreement has already been reached on personal terms. But, the Gunners still need to negotiate a transfer fee. 

As for Cancelo, the Gunners seem to have pulled out of the race. So, Barcelona are leading the race for his signature.

This comes shortly after Guardiola claimed that Man City had not blocked a move for Cancelo tp Barcelona in January, as claimed by Barca boss Xavi Hernandez. As a result, a move to the Camp Nou now seems to be back on.

However, due to their ongoing financial issues, there is no guarantee that the Catalans can meet Man City’s valuation, which is believed to be surprisingly affordable, at €40m (£34.7m).

As a result, a loan deal is most likely for Barcelona. So, it will be interesting to see if Man City allow Cancelo to join the Catalans on a temporary basis this summer.

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