Journalist doubts ‘angry’ Man City star’s ‘PR’ statement after ‘clear breakdown’ with Guardiola

Guardiola bust-up with Cancelo Credit: Alamy
Guardiola bust-up with Cancelo Credit: Alamy

Ben Jacobs is reporting that there was a ‘clear breakdown’ between Joao Cancelo and Pep Guardiola before the defender’s exit from Man City last month.

Cancelo left Man City last month to join Bayern Munich on loan until the end of this season. The Bundesliga side also have the option to sign him permanently in the summer for around £61m.

This transfer came out of nowhere as there was no talk of Cancelo leaving the club before it was announced that a deal had been agreed.

This move came about after the defender fell down the pecking order at Man City following the World Cup. He was an unused substitute for a couple of Premier League games and he did not start against Arsenal in the FA Cup.

Cancelo reportedly had a ‘furious bust-up’ with Guardiola and this led to him moving on.

After joining Bayern, the Portugal international played down talk of this apparent bust-up with Guardiola.

But Jacobs is reporting that Cancelo’s comments are only ‘true to a degree’ as ‘there was a clear breakdown in the relationship’ with Guardiola.

‘Joao Cancelo’s loan switch from Manchester City to Bayern was a real surprise. Cancelo has since claimed it was a move motivated by game time, which is the PR thing to say and true to a degree,’ Jacobs wrote for Caught Offside.

He added: ‘There was a clear breakdown in the relationship between Pep Guardiola and Cancelo. Pep looked frustrated with Cancelo at times and Cancelo reacted angrily to being dropped. And I also don’t think he enjoyed playing on the right wing against Chelsea in January.

‘There wasn’t just one flashpoint. More like lots of small ones. Guardiola is quite prepared to rotate his squad and Cancelo didn’t deal well with being benched, especially against Arsenal in the FA Cup. That was arguably the final straw. After that match, Cancelo posted a picture on Instagram alongside the quote, “Don’t let anyone dim your shine.”’

Jacobs later stated that Cancelo was becoming a ‘negative influence’ at Manchester City.

‘It can be tough for footballers used to playing every week to deal with less playing time, especially if it catches them by surprise,’ Jacobs continued.

‘And the feeling within Manchester City is Cancelo didn’t respond well, losing a bit of focus, concentrating less in team meetings and being a bit of a negative influence. Of course, there are two sides to every story and Cancelo would no doubt argue he remained professional and was just disappointed to lose his place to a teenager.

‘But it was probably lucky Bayern came calling. And Pep and Cancelo both agreed an exit was best. Had the Manchester City boss known things would have transpired this way, I also wonder whether he’d have let Oleksandr Zinchenko leave for Arsenal last summer.

‘Bayern have an option to buy Cancelo at €70m, which is quite a steep price tag. That’s why Cancelo has said (at least publicly) his time at Manchester City hasn’t necessarily ended. Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has also conceded Cancelo’s transfer fee is high. But there is still a very real chance Cancelo joins permanently and that Bayern don’t activate the option, instead trying to negotiate a deal for a lower number come summer.’

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