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Man City ‘not willing’ to sell Cancelo to Arsenal

Stuart Telford
Joao Cancelo, Barcelona, 2023/24
© IMAGO

Arsenal wanted to sign Joao Cancelo from Manchester City last summer, but the club decided to stop the flow of talent to North London, according to a report.

The path between Man City and Arsenal has been particularly well-trodden in recent years, with Mikel Arteta making the move in 2019 before being followed by Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko in 2022.

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All seemed fine between the clubs, with City boss Pep Guardiola wishing each of the aforementioned well after leaving the Etihad, but the champions’ kindness reportedly stopped when Arsenal expressed interest in Cancelo.

READ MORE: Latest Arsenal transfer rumours

The full-back had fallen out with Guardiola over his switch to using defensive full-backs, and was farmed out on loan to Bayern Munich and then Barcelona in quick succession.

“In the summer of 2022, despite their well-publicised unhappiness at the nature of Arteta’s departure a few years earlier, City happily sold Jesus and Zinchenko to Arsenal, for a combined fee of around £75 million,” reports The Telegraph’s Sam Dean.

Cancelo's ETV was as high as €74.3m two short seasons ago.
© FootballTransfers.com – Cancelo’s ETV was as high as €74.3m two short seasons ago.

City ‘not willing to strengthen’ Arsenal

“Last summer, Telegraph Sport understands, they were significantly less co-operative. Arsenal were interested in signing Joao Cancelo but City were not willing to strengthen Arteta’s squad again.”

READ MORE: Barcelona’s 10 most expensive transfers of all time

Cancelo has flourished at Barca, contributing four goals and four assists from full-back across his 32 games in all competitions, and club president Joan Laporta has made it clear he wants the Portuguese to stay.

“I think that City will not object either,” he told Mundo Deportivo recently. “… a lot will depend on the amounts, whether we are going to sign [Cancelo and Joao Felix] or extend the loan.”

City would need to accept significantly less than the €32.9m Cancelo is valued at per FootballTransfers’ in-house algorithm, with Barca still labouring with a debt that stands at €1.2 billion.

Arsenal could afford Cancelo, and City are keen to offload him – but apparently not keen enough to give the Gunners more ammunition.

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