Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man City go big in Joao Cancelo replacement hunt as shock Premier League rival lined up for summer swoop

Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell

Manchester City are already preparing for life without full-back Joao Cancelo and could go after a big name from a rival Premier League team, according to reports.

Cancelo joined City from Juventus in August 2019. As per Sky Sports, City paid Juve £26million for the Portuguese as well as sending Danilo to Italy as part of the deal.

Cancelo became a revelation for Pep Guardiola, performing a hybrid role between full-back and winger. He was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year for the first time in 2020-21 as City won the title by 14 points.

The 28-year-old made the PFA Team of the Year again last season. He registered one goal and seven assists in 36 league games as City beat Liverpool to the English crown by one point.

Cancelo enjoyed a great start to the current campaign. However, he could not replicate this form when returning from the Qatar World Cup.

He subsequently lost his starting spot and this led to rumours of a falling out with Guardiola.

Cancelo caused headlines on January 30 as reports revealed he was close to joining Bayern Munich. And that transfer went through on deadline day.

The player has moved to Bayern on an initial loan, and the German giants have the option to make the transfer permanent in the summer for €70million (£61.5m).

Man City need left-back solution

Cancelo is unlikely to return to the Etihad at the end of the season. He wants guarantees he will be playing in pretty much every big match – something Guardiola is unwilling to provide.

As such, Guardiola and City are now looking for potential replacements on the left side of defence. And The Times bring up the possibility of them raiding Prem rivals Chelsea for Ben Chilwell.

After signing as many as eight stars in January, Chelsea look set to offload a plethora players this summer to make space in the squad and bring some money back in. And Chilwell could be one of the players who departs.

The report claims Guardiola wanted Chilwell before his move from Leicester to Chelsea in August 2020 and is now back on the hunt for the England international.

It is said he would be ‘pleased’ about bringing Chilwell in as Cancelo’s replacement.

While the 26-year-old appears happy at Stamford Bridge, this could change in the future. He is currently battling a hamstring injury but if he cannot get into the team ahead of Marc Cucurella on his return, then a move to City could become enticing.

Guardiola wants three new players 

City have been shocked by Arsenal’s emergence as league leaders. Due to this, they are looking at strengthening several positions in the summer. A left-back will be their priority, given Cancelo’s exit, but a new central midfielder and winger will also be targeted.

It would take some serious convincing for Chelsea to let Chilwell leave for another English side. After all, Chelsea have aspirations of getting back in the title mix and will therefore not want to improve City.

But the Citizens have shown in the past they are willing to spend big money to back Guardiola and give him the best chance at silverware. As such, it would not be a surprise if a big-money bid was launched for Chilwell later this year. Then it will be down to Chelsea to accept or tell them to look at other players.

Meanwhile, an observer has ridiculed Chelsea’s approach to transfers in the January window.