According to a source, Arsenal have made headway in their pursuit of Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo.
After losing his starting spot under Pep Guardiola, the Portugal international was suddenly loaned out to Bayern Munich for the duration of the 2022-23 season in January.
Bayern had the opportunity to extend Cancelo’s contract for a fee of €70 million (£60 million), but the Bavarians felt the clause too expensive, and the 29-year-old is expected to return to the Etihad this summer.
Cancelo leaves the Allianz Arena as a Bundesliga winner, with one goal and six assists in 21 games for Thomas Tuchel’s team, but he appears to have no future at Manchester City.
Barcelona manager Xavi has revealed that his club is interested in signing Cancelo as they look for a new right-back, although Arsenal are also said to be monitoring the situation.
According to Football Transfers, Arsenal has been in contact with Cancelo’s entourage, and the talks are going well, but Arsenal still needs to agree on a deal with Manchester City.
According to the source, Mikel Arteta’s side are preparing an initial proposal of £35 million, but Man City are believed to hold out for at least £45 million, raising concerns that the Citizens may be hesitant to strengthen one of their championship rivals further.
Last summer, City let Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko to join Arsenal, and despite a few injury issues, both men quickly became essential cogs in Arteta’s system.
Guardiola’s team eventually won the Premier League title, but the champions may think twice about allowing the Gunners to sign more marginal players in future transfer windows.
Cancelo shone in an inverted position similar to the one Zinchenko has thrived in for Arsenal before falling out of favour under Guardiola, making the PFA Premier League Team of the Year for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.
The former Juventus man has nine goals and 22 assists in 154 Man City appearances, but he was booed by Citizens fans during Bayern Munich’s Champions League quarter-final against his parent club.
Cancelo might be brought in to replace Kierney, who is expected to be sold after being downgraded to second choice behind Zinchenko in the 2022-23 season.
Man City were rumoured to be interested in signing the Scotland international at one point, but Newcastle United are currently considered to be leading the chase, with Aston Villa boss Unai Emery also keen on a reunion with the Gunners left-back.
On the other hand, despite his success out wide, Arteta is reportedly keen to convert Ben White to a central role, and with Cancelo capable of playing on either wing, he might become Arsenal’s first-choice right-back from next season.
Arsenal are thought to be competing with Barcelona for the signature of Ilkay Gundogan, who is out of contract at the end of the month but has yet to decide on his future.
For more Sports updates please follow us on Twitter