Ruthless Guardiola axes supreme Man City star after Bayern Munich secure remarkable coup, with reason behind shock exit hinted

Man City stars Phil Foden and Joao Cancelo

Man City are poised to offload one of their very best players after Bayern Munich closed in on an initial six-month loan that’ll also include an option to buy, per multiple trusted sources.

The reigning Premier League champions are facing a new threat to their domestic dominance this season in the form of Arsenal. Mikel Arteta’s Gunners hold a five-point gap and with a game in hand, are most people’s favourites to lift the title.

Pep Guardiola has begun to tinker with his formation this season and among the highest profile causalities has been Joao Cancelo.

The Portuguese ace, 28, was named in the Premier League Team of the Year in each of the last two seasons. He’s been arguably City’s second-most creative player from either full-back position behind only Kevin de Bruyne.

However, Pep’s switch to a 3-2-4-1 formation of late has seen Cancelo marginalised. Guardiola operates with three centre-halves with rising sensation Rico Lewis often deployed in midfield alongside Rodri.

The end result has seen Cancelo be an unused substitute in three of City’s last five league games. The Telegraph’s James Ducker noted the once-regular starter is desperate to feature far more frequently.

Now, according to to both the Athletic and Fabrizio Romano, Cancelo’s trophy-laden time at the Etihad is coming to a close.

Cancelo medical to take place inside 24 hours

The Athletic led the way, reporting Cancelo is ‘set to join Bayern Munich on loan’.

A six-month deal is also ‘likely to include a buy option’ meaning Cancelo’s stint in Bavaria may well become permanent.

Romano confirmed the Athletic’s reporting, adding Bayern are ‘closing in’ on the deal which is at its ‘advanced stages’.

Romano added Cancelo has already agreed to the switch and is on board with joining Bayern. All being well, a medical is due to be scheduled inside the next 24 hours.

The Daily Mail and Sky Sports later claimed the option to buy will be set at £61.5m.

Bayern are deemed long-term admirers of Cancelo, though their interest swelled thanks in large part to an injury suffered by Noussair Mazraoui.

Furthermore, fellow full-back, Benjamin Pavard, is being linked with a move to Barcelona come the summer.

Cancelo’s form has dipped this season, though at 28, he’s far from past his prime and has been among City’s truly elite performers in recent seasons.

The Athletic make a point of questioning why Guardiola would axe such a valuable performer, and the answer may lay in comments Guardiola made following the 4-2 victory over Tottenham.

Guardiola blasted both the club’s fans and threw shade at elements of his squad who lack “passion and fire and desire” following four titles in five years.

While he didn’t name names, it doesn’t take a genius to deduce Cancelo is likely among those he was referring to.

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