Tactical Insights

Félix, Cancelo exit chaos due to Barcelona interest – source

Barcelona deleted a club statement saying farewell to João Félix and João Cancelo because they still hope to re-sign the Portugal duo, a source told ESPN.

Barça thanked Marcos Alonso, Félix and Cancelo for their time with the club on Sunday as their respective deals came to an end.

Alonso’s contract has expired and he has been released as a free agent, while Félix and Cancelo’s loans from Atlético Madrid and Manchester City respectively are also up on June 30.

However, Barça later deleted Félix and Cancelo’s names from the statement and all social media posts.

A source told ESPN the reason was because the intention is that they both extend their stay with the club and the statement made it sound as if the door had closed.

Félix, who scored 10 goals in 44 Barça appearances last season, returns to Atlético, while Cancelo, who played 42 times, goes back to Man City for now, although both are at Euro 2024 with Portugal.

However, the Barça hierarchy remain in constant contact with the duo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, pending clarity on their financial situation this summer.

Barça are unable to make assurances over registering new contracts or signings with LaLiga as they remain in breach of their league-imposed spending limit.

The Catalan club need to raise money either through player transfers, reducing wages or new revenue streams before adding additions to the squad.

Despite that uncertainty, the source confirmed Félix and Cancelo remain targets following the appointment of new coach Hansi Flick as Xavi Hernández’s replacement.

Ideally they would bring both back on another loan deal, but the final terms of any deals will depend on how talks progress with Atlético and City.

Former Chelsea left-back Alonso, meanwhile, leaves the club after two years.

There has been no mention of club captain Sergi Roberto, though, whose contract also expires on Sunday.

A source told ESPN that talks continue over a new deal but Barça are not able to promise they will be able to register said deal with LaLiga.

Roberto had also received interest from other clubs in Spain and abroad and will have to make decision on his future soon.

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