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Xavi, Deco back 29-year-old defender despite recent criticism, but future uncertain – report

As Xavi, Deco and the rest of the Barcelona administration sit to plan out the future of the team, the topic of Joao Cancelo’s continuity is one that assumes prime importance.

The Portuguese full-back arrived last summer as the team’s hope to take over the seemingly cursed right-back position. He has, however, played most of the campaign at left-back and has done a phenomenal job at the same.

Just when his future at Barcelona was all but certain, however, a string of subpar performances once again threw his future in doubt.

The current scenario

As revealed in a recent report by MARCA, Cancelo’s poor displays against Real Madrid and PSG raised many voices against his continuity at the club.

Xavi and Deco, however, are unperturbed by his slump in form and maintain their stance that he deserves another season at the club, at least.

The only hurdle, however, is that Cancelo is still contractually obligated to Manchester City and that their decision over his future governs Barcelona’s plan.

With the Premier League side looking to sell the player in the summer for a fee of €25-30 million, the Catalans find themselves in a tricky situation. A loan extension would serve them well, but the idea does not sit well with Pep Guardiola’s side.

Reasons for his continuity

The Portuguese full-back has the manager’s complete trust despite his recent rut, and for good reason.

For starters, Xavi values Cancelo’s versatility as he is not only the team’s best right-back but also an equally able left-back option. Moreover, his clear attacking-oriented football is invaluable to a team trying to create threat in the final third.

Finally, Cancelo feels comfortable in Barcelona as he has iterated several times in recent interviews. The player wishes to stay in the Catalan capital and is completely dedicated to the club’s crest.

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