Tactical Insights

Barcelona buzzing as top defender confirms plans to play in Catalonia next season

Joao Cancelo has been quizzed about his future at Barcelona amid talk that he could make a permanent switch from Manchester City this summer.

The Portugal international is currently on loan at the Camp Nou but there is not a purchase option involved in the deal for the reigning Premier League champions.

However, there is a willingness at the Catalonia giants to keep the 29-year-old beyond the summer and it appears that the feeling is mutual.

Speaking during the presentation of highly-rated Barca centre-back Ronald Araujo’s documentary, Cancelo confirmed his intentions with just two words.

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When asked if he hopes to stay at Barcelona for the 2024/25 campaign and potentially beynd, Cancelo did not hesitate to respond with a quick “yes, yes” before leaving the photocall area of ​​the event.

As previously reported by Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona president Joan Laporta and agent Jorge Mendes, who handles the affairs of Cancelo and forward Joao Felix, met in Barcelona to discuss the future of both players.

And it’s been agreed that the most viable solution for them to continue at Barcelona is another loan, although they do not rule out a possible permanent signing depending on the situation with financial fair play.

In his first campaign at Barca, Joao Cancelo has already played 30 matches across all competitions and has scored three goals and provided four assists.

Cancelo shows his versatility

Having arrived to play as a right-back, injuries to Alejandro Balde and Marcos Alonso have forced him to play on the left where Caneclo has still excelled.

The former Juventus man, who has won 50 caps for Portugal, has featured in 154 games for City and has won three Premier League titles and a League Cup during his time at The Etihad.

However, his time in Manchester appears to be up, with Pep Guardiola often opting to field centre-backs in the full-back positions – apart from the evergreen Kyle Walker, who remains the club’s first-choice right-back.

City are back in action in a huge top-of-the-table clash with Liverpool on Sunday, while Barcelona are at home to Mallorca on Friday night looking to close the gap to leaders Real Madrid to five points with a win.

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