EXCLUSIVE: Joao Cancelo had a furious training ground BUST-UP with Pep Guardiola to spark his shock Man City exit, with £61m full back fuming at Arsenal starting XI snub before Bayern loan swoop
Joao Cancelo is set to leave Manchester City following a training ground bust-up with Pep Guardiola.
The full-back, who is expected to join Bayern Munich on loan, is said to have reacted angrily after he learned that he would not be in the starting XI for City’s FA Cup clash with Arsenal on Friday night.
Cancelo has been vocal in recent weeks at a lack of game time and has become disruptive to the squad while his relationship with Guardiola progressively deteriorated after the World Cup.
Pep Guardiola and Joao Cancelo have been involved in a training ground bust up that has led to the defender’s shock Bayern Munich move
The Portuguese defender has been vocal in recent weeks about wanting more game time
The versatile full-back has twice been in the PFA Team of the Year
The 28-year-old Portugal international threatened to leave the club, and such was the severity of the situation, City gave Cancelo the green light to depart once he brought a loan offer from Bayern to the table with the relationship between player and manager beyond repair.
The German champions have the option to sign him for £61million at the end of the season.
His relationship with Guardiola has been strained but reached breaking point ahead of the clash with the Gunners, which City won 1-0.
City are now seeking a replacement, and losing a key squad member as the window closes is not ideal, but the club insiders have disclosed they were left with little option.
Cancelo has had heated discussions with Guardiola and started only three of the 10 fixtures since returning from international duty in Qatar. He was hooked at half time of the 1-0 Premier League win over Chelsea and played in defeats by Southampton and Manchester United.
Nathan Ake has been one of City’s best performers in recent weeks deputising at left-back
Guardiola’s relationship with the defender has deteriorated since the World Cup
After being named as a substitute before the recent victory over Wolves, Cancelo was seen slumped on the bench while other members of City’s team warmed up ahead of kick off.
The agreement for him to seal a switch to the Allianz Arena appears to leave City short of defensive cover, but club sources are adamant that they have enough if a replacement does not arrive before the deadline.
Nathan Ake has performed admirably at left back in recent weeks, and is enjoying a stellar campaign, while youngster Sergio Gomez has made 12 appearances since joining from Anderlecht. Aymeric Laporte can fill in if required.
But the Premier League champions are perennially searching for a traditional left back. City opted against triggering Ben Chilwell’s £42million release clause when he left Leicester for Chelsea in 2020 but could return for him after refusing to meet Brighton’s valuation of Marc Cucurella last summer.
Benjamin Mendy’s contract is set to expire during his retrial on two counts of sexual violence, to be heard at Chester Crown Court on June 26. Mendy remains suspended by City.