Joao Cancelo is set to make a shock switch to Bayern Munich.
The Manchester City full-back, one of the Premier League’s outstanding players in 2021-22, signed a bumper long-term contract only 11 months ago and was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in each of the last two seasons.
However, he has recently fallen out of favour with Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium and the pair have clashed over his lack of action.
The 28-year-old has fallen to third choice in his preferred position of right-back, behind Kyle Walker and youngster Rico Lewis, while Nathan Ake has been preferred at left-back in recent weeks – the position where Cancelo was so impressive for much of the last two seasons and where he had started the current campaign.
But the Portugal international has played the full 90 minutes just once in the Premier League since October, has been an unused substitute in four of their last seven outings in all competitions.
He was hauled off at half-time during the 1-0 win over Chelsea on January 5 and given a rollicking by Guardiola. The Catalan had similarly been left furious with Cancelo in early November, ahead of the World Cup, when he was sent off against Fulham.
Mirror Football understands Cancelo has been left extremely frustrated with his lack of playing time and what he has perceived as a lack of definitive answers surrounding the reasons why he has lost his place during talks with his manager. For his part, Guardiola is happy to allow the move to go ahead, having been majorly impressed with the development of Lewis.
Cancelo is joining the German champions on an initial loan deal until the end of the season. Bayern will have the option to make the move permanent for £61million.
Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann has been looking for a new right-back with Benjamin Pavard wanting to play centre-back – he is seeking a move away – and Morocco international Noussair Mazrouai currently out injured.
It will leave City largely depending on Dutch international Ake at left-back for the remainder of the season, with summer signing Sergio Gomez – who has seen little game time himself since joining – as his deputy.