Arsenal will not be making a move for Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo on deadline day, with the player set to join Barcelona.
Rumours surfaced that Arsenal had made a late swoop to hijack Barcelona’s loan move for the defender, with the Gunners short of depth at the back, but Cancelo remains destined to move to the La Liga Champions.
Barcelona are struggling financially, but in recent weeks they seemed to agree a deal for Cancelo to join on loan, possibly with an option to buy, and were waiting to green-light a move once it became financially viable with outgoings.
Fabrizio Romano has now confirmed that no one else moved for Cancelo and his only desire was to move to Barcelona.
“Joao Cancelo never had calls, contacts or negotiations with any other club. FC Barcelona and nothing else. Just patience needed,” he tweeted.
A move was always unlikely
Manchester City were never likely to sanction a loan move for Cancelo to join Arsenal, and strengthen their closest title rivals.
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Cancelo was on the chopping block at City after a fallout with Pep Guardiola, and spent the second half of last season on loan at Bayern Munich, where he was described as “world-class.”
Given the injury to Jurrien Timber, and the departure of Kieran Tierney, Cancelo could have been a great option to cover both sides at full-back, but it seems unlikely that he would have wanted to move to Arsenal whilst Barcelona were interested.
It now seems that Arsenal will not sign a defender heading into the final hours of the transfer window, but there will be little regret of not pursuing Cancelo further, as a deal was never likely to materialise despite Mikel Arteta, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko’s connections to City.