Bayern sign Man City fullback Cancelo on loan
MUNICH – Bayern Munich have signed fullback Joao Cancelo on an initial loan deal from Manchester City for the rest of the season with an option to buy the Portugal international, the Bundesliga club said on Tuesday.
Cancelo made 16 league starts for City this season but has not played for the club since their derby loss to Manchester United earlier in January, missing the last three games.
He started only three of 10 games after the World Cup break and lost his place to Nathan Ake, while 18-year-old Rico Lewis also emerged as an option for manager Pep Guardiola this season.
“We’ve signed him on loan now and have the possibility of signing him permanently in the summer,” said Bayern’s sports director Hasan Salihamidzic.
“Joao is a player we’ve been thinking about for a while now because we very much appreciate his qualities. 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.
“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 has been instrumental for City since his arrival in 2019, winning two league titles, while he was also named in the English Premier League Team of the Year in the past two seasons.
The versatile 28-year-old has predominantly played as a left back but can also operate on the right flank.
“FC Bayern is a great club, one of the best in the world, and it’s enormous motivation for me to now play alongside these extraordinary players in a team,” Cancelo said.
“I know that this club, this team lives for titles and wins titles every year. I’m also driven by the hunger for success. I’ll give my best for FC Bayern.”
Bayern, who top the Bundesliga but have failed to win since the restart after the World Cup, have also been boosted by the return of forward Sadio Mane, ahead of their upcoming Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain. The 30-year-old trained with the ball in the Tuesday morning session, one week after his return to the training pitch.
Mane injured a tendon in his leg during his side’s 6-1 win over Werder Bremen in November and required surgery that forced him to miss Senegal’s World Cup campaign in Qatar.
Bayern travel to the Parc des Princes for the first leg of the Champions League last 16 tie on Feb 14, with the return fixture in Munich on March 8.
Coach Julian Nagelsmann previously said he “would not count on” the reigning African Player of the Year to be available for the first leg.
Mane, who signed for the Bavarian giants from Liverpool in the summer of 2022, has scored 11 goals in 23 games in all competitions this season. - REUTERS, AFP