Joao Cancelo could leave Manchester City after losing starting place

Man City defender Cancelo is the subject of intense transfer speculation

TRANSFERS Joao Cancelo could leave Manchester City after losing starting place

Ifeanyi Ufomadu 08:10 - 13.01.2023

Manchester City full-back Cancelo is attracting widespread interest from clubs around Europe since losing his place in the Manchester City line-up

Top European clubs will be monitoring the availability of Portugal full-back Joao Cancelo in the transfer market in the summer, and whether a deal can be done at the right price.

Cancelo attracting interest

Despite being voted the league's best left-back by the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) last season, Cancelo has only started one league game since the World Cup, and was taken off at half-time during the win at Chelsea.

The Portugal full-back only recently extended his contract at the Etihad until 2027, and he admitted to a desire to spend many more years at Man City. However, that has not stopped several clubs from enquiring about his availability in the summer.

Cancelo is attracting interest from Europe's top clubs
Cancelo is attracting interest from Europe's top clubs

According to a report in The Telegraph, he is expected to attract bids from Europe’s biggest clubs if he is granted a move. Under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola, who has encouraged him to move into central midfield during games to dictate play, he has established himself as one of the best full-backs in the world.

Cancelo's progression under Guardiola

Cancelo had a slow start to life at the Etihad Stadium after arriving from Juventus in 2019. He eventually hit the ground running after adapting to Guardiola’s methods, and became a key part of back-to-back Premier League titles, being voted in the PFA Team of the Year for both campaigns.

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Since returning from the World Cup, where he was also among the substitutes for Portugal’s knockout matches, Cancelo has been on the bench more than he has played. 

Guardiola played him in a more advanced role when he returned to action at Stamford Bridge, then took him off at the interval in a game City went on to win. He also started in the shock EFL Cup defeat at Southampton this week. 

Cancelo has found himself out of the starting line-up in recent weeks
Cancelo has found himself out of the starting line-up in recent weeks

Big picture for Man City

After dropping points against Everton and losing to Brentford before the World Cup break, City need to close the five-point gap to Arsenal at the top of the table.

Recent results have brought into focus the need for Guardiola to get the best out of his fringe players, especially England midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who has looked out of sync with the rest of his teammates after missing so much of the season through injury.

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