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Bayern Munich sign Joao Cancelo on loan from Manchester City

  • January 31, 2023

Bayern Munich have signed Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo on loan until the end of the season, with a reported €70 million [$76 million] purchase option.

The Portuguese wingback has fallen down the pecking order at the Premier League champions, having failed to start the last three matches for Pep Guardiola’s team in all competitions.

“I wanted to start this new adventure as soon as possible,” Cancelo said. “I enjoyed my time at City and I am still under contract with the club so I don’t see it as a final departure. I will now focus only on my five months and see what happens then.”

Bayern have failed to win since the restart of the Bundesliga in January, stringing together three consecutive 1-1 drawsas the serial German champions continue to struggle both at the top of the pitch and at the back.

Cancelo will bring some much-needed experience to the back line in a side missing their captain, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, and Morocco defender Noussair Mazraoui, who has been sidelined with suspected swelling around the heart, after contracting COVID-19 during the World Cup.

With Benjamin Pavard also attracting the attention of Barcelona, Cancelo hopes to get the desired playing time at Bayern that he has been lacking in Manchester.

“My decision had to do with the playing time that had been little in recent weeks,” he added. “There was speculation that my relationship with [Manchester City coach] Pep [Guardiola] was not the best but fact is I wanted to play more.”

Julian Nagelsmann’s side are only a point ahead of surprise Bundesliga challengers Union Berlin,who led the German league for much of the early part of the season.

Before Bayern’s three-match winless streak, they had won 10 matches in row across all competitions, including picking up impressive Champions League victories against Barcelona and Inter.

“Joao is a player we’ve been thinking about for a while now because we very much appreciate his qualities,” sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic explained. “He’s the optimal fit in our system with his attacking style of play and dynamism, and his mentality and experience fit very well in our team. 

Bayern have been forced to invest during the winter transfer window after skipper Neuer broke his leg in a skiing accident in December, bringing in Yann Sommer from Borussia Monchengladbach – who starred when the sides drew at the Allianz Arena in August.

Cancelo, who was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in the previous two seasons, offers a solid option in defence but is equally known to add an attacking presence on the wing.

With a potentially tight title race and a tantilizing Champions League last 16 tie against French champions Paris Saint-Germain, Salihamidzic is hopeful the team’s new signing can further their pursuit of trophies this season.

“We have now brought in Yann Sommer, Daley Blind and Joao. We covered those three positions and hope to have the depth in our squad needed to reach our goals.”

Cancelo could make his Bayern debut in the German Cup against Mainz on Wednesday or in the Bundesliga against Wolfsburg on Sunday.

km/pfd (Reuters, AP)

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