Man City ace picks Barcelona over Arsenal.

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Man City ace picks Barcelona over Arsenal, Chelsea as major transfer finally takes shape; likely transfer fee revealed

A Manchester City superstar has dashed Arsenal and Chelsea’s chances of completing a serious coup by choosing Barcelona as his next club, and how much a deal will cost has emerged amid progress finally being made.

Barcelona’s financial woes are well documented and it’s a situation that has forced the Spanish giant to tread carefully in the transfer market in recent seasons.

The vast bulk of their arrivals have come via loans or free agent pick-ups. One player signed by the first route was Man City full-back, Joao Cancelo.

The 30-year-old shone at the Etihad and was named in successive PFA Teams of the Year in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 campaigns.

However, Pep Guardiola’s tactical tweaks resulted in Cancelo’s minutes being cut. The versatile defender did not take kindly to his demotion and a reported falling out between the pair sparked a loan exit to Bayern Munich in the 2023 January window.

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Bayern opted against activating their hefty €70m option to buy, though the writing was on the wall for Cancelo at Man City who went on to lift the treble in his absence.

Barcelona subsequently swooped with a loan deal of their own and Cancelo impressed in the 2023/24 season.

Now, according to Barcelona president Joan Laporta, his club fully intend to re-sign Cancelo.

Barcelona working on Cancelo deal in one of two guises

Speaking about Barcelona’s plans to re-sign Cancelo as well as fellow Portuguese loanee Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid, Laporta said: “We want them to continue for another season.

“[Sporting Director] Deco is working on it and we have the news that [Hansi] Flick believes they can be important. He already thought about them at Bayern.”

Of course, the biggest barrier to a deal remains Barcelona’s meagre spending power in the market.

But according to a fresh update from AS, Cancelo’s move to Barcelona on a more permanent basis is finally taking shape.

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Firstly, they state several other heavyweights including Arsenal, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and clubs in Saudi Arabia were all willing to table bids for Cancelo.

However, the player has made it crystal clear he wants to continue his career in Barcelona and as a result, negotiations with all other suitors have been cut off.

Man City had initially hoped a bidding war would result in a lucrative sale. But with Cancelo refusing to sign for anyone but Barcelona, their hands are tied.

Nonetheless, City have set a target valuation of €40m/£34m for the move. Barcelona cannot afford that sum and if they’re to sign Cancelo outright this summer, a compromise is required.

An alternative that is under consideration is another loan, though this time it would contain an option/obligation to buy at the end of the 2024/25 season.

In any case, it’s stated that with both clubs as well as Cancelo all wanting the same thing, the transfer is finally ‘on track’ and beginning to ramp up.

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AS concluded ‘the operation could be closed before Euro 2024.’ That tournament is due to begin in just nine days time on June 14 when host nation Germany face Scotland.

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