ARSENAL have reportedly started preliminary talks to sign Manchester City star Joao Cancelo.
Cancelo, 29, can leave City this summer after falling out with manager Pep Guardiola in January.
Pep gave Cancelo the green light to join Bayern Munich on a short-term loan deal this window.
However, the Portuguese international has not been able to fully establish himself as a key player for Bayern this season under both Julian Nagelsmann and Thomas Tuchel.
And the club are reluctant to fulfill the £60m release clause in his loan deal, which would make the transfer permanent.
That has opened the door for a number of clubs interested in Cancelo and Arsenal have emerged as the most interested club according to Sky Sports.
They report the Gunners have had “early oral discussions” to explore the possibility of signing the full-back despite his preference for a move to LaLiga.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta knows Cancelo well, having coached him when he was Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City.
But according to the German outlet table footballDue to interest from both clubs, the defender has eyed a move to either Barcelona or Real Madrid.
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City are reluctant to agree to another loan and will ask a £43million transfer fee from any club looking to sign Cancelo on a permanent basis.
That could strengthen Arsenal’s position in the race as Barcelona’s financial woes will force them to sell before buying.
Madrid are also having to budget accordingly after Jude Bellingham’s £115million move to the Spanish capital was confirmed by Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
Real also remain interested in Tottenham striker Harry Kane but Spurs are sticking with at least £100m despite the England captain entering the final year of his contract.
Arsenal are comparatively well-placed financially to sign the defender, although he plans big cash transfers for midfielders Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo.
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