When Barcelona finally closed the deal for Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo in the last hours of the summer transfer window, it was shocking, to put it mildly.

Each of the two Portuguese players joined on loan from their respective clubs, Atletico Madrid and Manchester City.

Their decision to sign with the Catalan giants was clearly a sacrifice on both players’ parts. Just before he arrived, Felix re-signed with Atletico, lowering his pay and making him more affordable for Barcelona to hire.

Cancelo did the same thing, forgoing pay to join. He gave up $2.1 million in salary from City to join the Blaugrana last summer, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Ignoring the fact that his ability to remain permanently is far from certain, he nonetheless did it.

Too high asking price?

While a permanent transfer may be out of the question due to Barcelona’s financial problems, they do want to re-sign Cancelo.

With any luck, they and the Citizens can come to a new loan agreement.

That may be challenging, however, since other teams are interested in signing him. Since they are expecting bids from other English clubs and perhaps a few Saudi bidders, the Premier League winners have sought to get rid of Cancelo.

Joao Cancelo is up there with the best of them in today’s game when it comes to attacking fullbacks. This season, the defender on loan from Barcelona has been impressive, and he hopes to remain for the foreseeable future.

A tense relationship between the Portuguese international and Pep Guardiola caused him to leave 18 months ago on loan for Bayern Munich. They next sent him to Barca last summer on a different short-term agreement that did not include a buyout clause.

Man City have sought $43 million from the Catalans, and they have so far refused to pay. This has sparked suspicion that the club may look elsewhere to offload the Portuguese.

Cancelo reportedly accepted a lower salary to get his move to Barcelona
Cancelo reportedly accepted a lower salary to get his move to Barcelona

Cancelo reportedly accepted a lower salary to get his move to Barcelona

Player’s determination could be key

Chelsea of the Premier League have shown interest in signing the seasoned fullback, and Arsenal are once again vying for the services of the defender. The Portuguese international held Mikel Arteta’s undying admiration.

He had a good relationship with the current manager of the Gunners from his time as Guardiola’s assistant at Etihad.

The Blues may consider a high-profile transfer bid to strengthen a weak spot with a seasoned player like Cancelo. The defender, who is valued at $43 million, may, however, choose to remain with Barcelona. The La Liga heavyweights would gain immense leverage in their ongoing discussions with City.

But since the 29-year-old is so adamant, Xavi may haggle for a cheaper cost or possibly get a new loan with a summer 2025 buyout option.

The Catalans now have the upper hand in negotiations with the Portuguese star. He is reportedly willing to sign a contract extension until at least 2027 if the Camp Nou outfit want him to remain.

Photo credit: IMAGO / AFLOSPORT