In what will likely go down as the most shocking transfer of January’s window, Manchester City star João Cancelo has joined Bayern Munich.
Cancelo joins Bayern on an initial loan deal. Manchester City included a €70 million buy option in the deal.
Since joining in a 2019 swap deal with Juventus, Cancelo has appeared in 154 matches for Manchester City. The full back was named to the PFA Premier League Team of the Year each of the last two seasons. Cancelo also appeared in 36 matches last season during City’s title campaign.
Cancelo’s transfer is a direct reaction to City coach Pep Guardiola benching him. The Portuguese international started just 3 of Manchester City’s last 10 matches, with young players Nathan Aké and Rico Lewis earning starts over him. Kyle Walker, Manchester’s normal starting right back, has also struggled for playing time during this period.
As his benching became more prominent, Cancelo grew vocal and he began airing his grievances to Guardiola. Over the last few weeks their relationship deteriorated to the point where Cancelo felt a transfer away was necessary.
It was Cancelo, not Manchester City, who found his match in Germany. The full back presented the transfer to Manchester City, who could only agree to the deal given his falling out with Guardiola.
Where does João Cancelo fit?
Cancelo fills a major position of need for Bayern Munich. Right back has been a weakness for Bayern since Philipp Lahm’s retirement in 2017. Benjamin Pavard, Lahm’s successor, is out injured for the rest of the season. Newcomer Noussair Mazraoui has been lackluster as well.
Bayern Munich is currently at the top of the Bundesliga table with 37 points through 18 matches.