Joao Cancelo transfer: Man City star close to Bayern Munich move - loan, fee & option to buy explained

The Manchester City full-back could sign for the German champions on loan.

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Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo could complete a loan move to Bayern Munich before Tuesday’s transfer deadline, ManchesterWorld understands.

The Portugal international, who up until recently was seen as one of the club’s most reliable players, has struggled for game-time since returning from the World Cup. Cancelo has started just three of City’s 10 matches since club football resumed, and was replaced at half-time in one.

His lack of playing time has drawn interest from elsewhere with Cancelo believed to have approached City with the prospect of joining Bayern, who would have a €70m (£65.5m) option to buy included as part of the deal. There is limited time to wrap up a move, with the German January transfer market closing at 7pm on Tuesday.

Cancelo’s lack of game-time has also been impacted by a tactical switch from Pep Guardiola over recent months as City have operated with a fluid back four that often sees Rico Lewis start at right-back and push into midfield when the team are in possession. Meanwhile, Ake starts at left-back but moves inside when City have the ball, to form a three-man defence.

It appears to be Guardiola’s preferred system at present, raising questions as to where Cancelo fits. There’s also a belief at City that with five centre-backs and Lewis and Kyle Walker as options out wide, they are equipped to deal with Cancelo’s exit, while raising funds ahead of next summer’s transfer window.

Even as recently as October, the full-back was impressing for City and earned a 10/10 rating in a 4-0 win over Southampton where he scored the opener and provided an assist. Meanwhile, last year Guardiola compared Cancelo with Philipp Lahm, someone he described as ‘the best player I have ever seen in my whole life’. The 28-year-old was also voted in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in each of the last two seasons, making his rapid decline at the Etihad even more surprisng.

Having joined City in 2019, Cancelo has made 154 appearances for the Blues, scoring nine goals and winning two Premier League titles in that time.

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