Arsenal have ‘genuine interest’ in Man City man, but Pep ‘holds all the cards’ against Arteta

·3-min read
Joao Cancelo receives a talking to from Pep Guardiola Credit: Alamy
Joao Cancelo receives a talking to from Pep Guardiola Credit: Alamy

According to Ben Jacobs, Arsenal are ‘genuinely interested’ in Man City defender Joao Cancelo but a transfer looks pretty unrealistic at this stage.

Cancelo joined the Cityzens from Juventus for around £58million in August 2019.

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Signed as a right-back, the Portuguese international later thrived on the left flank before losing his place in Pep Guardiola’s starting XI this season.

Before the winter transfer window in which Cancelo joined Bayern Munich on loan, Guardiola favoured Nathan Ake and Rico Lewis in left-back, which left the 28-year-old unhappy.

And with Arsenal still flying high on top of the Premier League in February, the Spanish manager opted to go more defensive, relying on natural centre-backs like Manuel Akanji and Ake to play in Cancelo’s position.

Cancelo is set to return to the Etihad at the end of the season, though a summer exit does seem extremely likely.

His relationship with Guardiola is obviously on the rocks, if not completely broken, and there does not seem like there is any way back for him with Man City playing so well.

Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Cancelo. Mikel Arteta briefly worked with the Portuguese defender before replacing Unai Emery as the Gunners’ head coach in December 2019.

There are a few things stopping this transfer from happening, mainly the fact City no longer want to sell to Arsenal given the incredible season they have had.

Transfer expert Ben Jacobs has dished out the dirt on this particular rumour, stating that Arteta does have a ‘genuine interest’ in the former Juventus and Valencia man.

Jacobs starts off by saying Cancelo is facing an ‘uncertain summer’ with Bayern Munich showing no signs they will trigger the €70m (£61m) buy option in his loan deal.

It was surprising at the time that Cancelo was joining Bayern, but it is now ‘clear’ the player and Guardiola had some ‘tension’ with the latter ‘unimpressed with his attitude’.

Amidst interest from the Gunners, it is said the Portuguese international wants to stay in Munich, which is unlikely.

This opens the door for Arsenal, who could swoop in.

As mentioned beforehand, however, City could instantly rejected an offer from the Londoners after they surprisingly ran them close in the Premier League title race.

Saying that, it is clear that Arteta and Edu Gaspar want to sign one or two defenders in the summer and remain interested in Real Valladolid youngster Ivan Fresneda.

Man City ‘hold all the cards’ with Cancelo under contract 2027, giving them ‘all the control’.

Cancelo is not the only City player Arsenal are believed to be interested in. According to David Ornstein, Ilkay Gundogan is a key summer target with his contract set to expire at the end of 2022/23.

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