Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Pep Guardiola told ‘crazy’ star has proved him right over £27m Man City transfer decision

Pep Guardiola told he got Joao Cancelo call correct at Man City

Pep Guardiola told he got Joao Cancelo call correct at Man City

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has been backed for jettisoning Joao Cancelo after his recent performances for Barcelona came under fire and the Portuguese star was branded “crazy”.

The Portugal international was a key player in Man City‘s team between 2019-22, wracking up 154 appearances and scoring nine goals in the process.

However, seemingly out of nowhere, the full-back joined Bayern Munich in late January 2023 on loan for the rest of the season and there was an option to buy him for just over £60m.

It was later reported the former Juventus man, who joined the Cityzens in 2019 for £27.4m in addition to Danilo being sent the other way in a part-exchange, had fallen out with manager Guardiola over a lack of playing time in the 2022/23 season; Nathan Ake and Rico Lewis pushed him down the pecking order.

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The narrative was very much that Cancelo was the troublemaker in this scenario, perhaps prompting the Portuguese to tell his side of the story.

‘Lies were told’

In March, he told Portuguese sports newspaper A Bola: “Lies were told. I was never a bad companion for them and you can ask either Ake or Rico. I don’t have any superiority or inferiority complex towards them.

“I think Manchester 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. I always gave everything.”

He added: “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 Mr Guardiola has much more strength than me when he says something, and I prefer to keep to myself.”

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Fast forward to the present and after 21 appearances for the German giants, the Bavarians decided against signing Cancelo permanently and now he is coming towards the end of a season-long loan at Barcelona.

While the 29-year-old has expressed his joy at playing for the Catalan outfit, his performance in the 4-1 Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in midweek came under scrutiny, as did his display in the 3-2 loss to rivals Real Madrid on Sunday.

Guardiola backed over Cancelo decision

That has promoted former Netherlands international Ronald de Boer to suggest Guardiola should feel vindicated for loaning out Cancelo, while implying he is not a team player.

The Dutchman told Ziggo Sport: “Now I know why Pep doesn’t like Cancelo. This guy plays his own football and thinks it’s only about what you do with the ball. You’re a defender!!!”

Dutch legend Marco van Basten was also frustrated with the City loanee, who he believes should have grown out of some of the negative tendencies he has been showing of late for Barca.

He added: “It’s crazy that Cancelo continues to repeat his mistakes at 29 years old.”

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The former Valencia and Benfica man is still contracted to the Etihad until 2027 but it seems he may have played his last game for the club.

Reports suggest Barca are keen on retaining his services beyond this season and talks are ongoing to secure a deal. However, due to the Spanish side’s well-publicised financial struggles in recent years, there is no guarantee they will fork out a significant amount of money for the experienced campaigner – and may look for a cut-price deal.