Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man City rebel blasts Guardiola for telling ‘lies’ in extraordinary rant as exit deal gathers pace

Ben Stewart
Joao Cancelo and Pep Guardiola

Joao Cancelo has opened up on his Man City exit

There doesn’t seem to be any way back for Joao Cancelo at Manchester City as the Portuguese full-back has blasted Pep Guardiola and the club for comments regarding his exit.

The 29-year-old was once considered one of the best full-backs in the Premier League, particularly between 2020-2022 when he seemed to be at the peak of his powers.

Playing as an inverted left-back, Cancelo played a key role in Guardiola’s side up until the 2022/23 campaign when he suddenly seemed to slip down the pecking order.

As a result, the Portuguese full-back spent the second half of last season on loan with Bayern Munich and he’s currently out on loan with Barcelona.

Given his latest comments regarding his exit in Manchester, there doesn’t seem to be a way back for him at the Etihad.

“Lies were told,” Cancelo told Portuguese outlet A Bola when asked about Guardiola and the claims that he reacted poorly to being left out of the team.

“I’ve never been a bad team-mate for them and you can ask either (Nathan) Ake or Rico (Lewis). I don’t have any superiority or inferiority complex towards them, but that’s the manager’s opinion.

“I stayed because it’s not true. I think Man City were a bit ungrateful to me when they said that, because I was a very important player in the years I was there.

“I never failed in my commitment to the club, to the fans and I always gave everything. I remember a time when I was robbed and attacked and the next day I was playing at the Emirates against Arsenal.

“These are things you don’t forget, I left my wife and daughter alone at home, terrified. People will only remember this because Mister Guardiola has much more power than me when he says something and I prefer to keep to myself.

“I prefer to know that I am telling the truth, I feel fulfilled with what I did. I am a transparent person, I never lie. Life goes on and I wish everything goes well, because while I was there I enjoyed my football and the team. They remain the favourite team to win the Champions League.”

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Barcelona switch is one the cards

Since joining Barcelona on loan at the start of the season, Cancelo has impressed in his new surroundings. The full-back has started in the majority of games this season and has produced eight goal contributions in total.

His current deal with Man City runs until 2027, but they seem to be keen to offload the 29-year-old on a permanent basis at the next available opportunity.

While Barcelona do want to sign Cancelo, their financial situation could make a permanent deal tricky. However, club president Joan Laporta is eager to strike a deal.

“I think they (Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix – also on loan) will continue,” Laporta told Mundo Deportivo earlier this month.

“I hope that Atletico Madrid will not put any objection to Joao Felix continuing with us and I think that Man City will not object either.

“We have an agent there who is working on the issue, Jorge Mendes, and he knows our intention to continue with the players.

“What I can’t tell you now, because it will depend a lot on the amounts, is whether we are going to sign them or extend the loan. It will surely be an extension of the transfer, already setting a price.”

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