Exclusive: Transfer expert sees no way back for Arsenal target at current club

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It’s hard to see a way back for Joao Cancelo at Manchester City, while there is also currently no plan for Bayern Munich to trigger a clause to make his transfer to the Allianz Arena permanent.

That’s according to Ben Jacobs in this week’s exclusive CaughtOffside column, with the transfer news expert explaining that the Portugal international has had a tense relationship with Pep Guardiola in recent times.

This surely paves the way for Cancelo to leave Man City this summer, but it’s in their hands due to the 28-year-old having a contract until 2027.

Jacobs adds that City may now also be less keen to do business with Arsenal after allowing both Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko to join the Gunners last season, which then helped Mikel Arteta’s side mount an unexpected title challenge this term.

Although Arsenal were unsuccessful in the end, they ran City pretty close and will surely now have to be taken more seriously, which could make it a bit trickier for them to land Cancelo, though it seems there is a genuine interest there.

Joao Cancelo is on Arsenal’s radar

“It’s going to be quite an uncertain summer for Joao Cancelo. The Bayern loanee will return to Manchester City unless a new deal is agreed,” Jacobs said.

“As things stand, Bayern have no plans to trigger Cancelo’s buy option, which is set at €70m (£61m). It was a real surprise when he left Manchester City, but it’s now clear in hindsight there was tension between Cancelo and Pep Guardiola. The Portuguese full-back was unhappy with his game time and Guardiola wasn’t impressed with his attitude.

“I don’t see a way back at Manchester City, at least not in the long term, especially with Cancelo wanting to start games. He ideally wants to stay at Bayern, but Thomas Tuchel may have other ideas, which is what puts Cancelo in quite a tricky position.

“The links with Arsenal are genuine and there’s no doubt Edu and Mikel Arteta will look for defensive reinforcements. But it will be a complicated transfer to pull off. Manchester City won’t be as forthcoming selling to Arsenal given how close they ran the recently-crowned champions this season. The transfers of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko show the clubs can do business, but the dynamic between them is a little different now heading into 2023/24. Arsenal also still have Real Valladolid’s Ivan Fresneda on their radar, who they explored signing in January.

“Cancelo is contracted to Manchester City until 2027, so Manchester City have all the control. He’s going to have to return and have quite frank talks with the club before the picture becomes clearer.”

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