MANCHESTER CITY outsider Joao Cancelo has reportedly dismissed Saudi Arabia’s interest in favor of joining Barcelona.
The Portuguese star will leave the Etihad this summer to pursue a new challenge.
Cancelo, 29, was involved in City’s pre-season tour of Asia but has yet to make a Premier League matchday squad.
According to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivothe full-back was tempted by a lucrative move to the Saudi Pro League.
But they add that joining Xavi and co at Barcelona is close to his heart.
The Catalan side pushed hard to sign Cancelo in January.
And her long-term interest and persistence went a long way in convincing Cancelo it was the right move.
It is claimed that a deal could be finalized by this weekend.
The structure of the transfer is likely to be on loan with a future purchase option of £25m depending on how he fares at Barca.
Cancelo will stay with City until 2027.
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The former Inter Milan star joined Bayern Munich on loan in January after falling out of favor with Pep Guardiola and has made 21 appearances for the Bundesliga side.
Asked about Cancelo last month, Guardiola said: “He’s here. Joao has been so important to us in the past.”
“He’s back and part of the group. We’ll see what happens.”
Cancelo is expected to be Barcelona’s fifth signing of the transfer window.
He succeeds former City teammates Ilkay Gundogan, as well as Inigo Martinez, Oriol Romeu and Vitor Roque.
SunSport reported earlier this month that City are interested in signing Boca Juniors left-back Valentin Barco as Cancelo’s replacement.
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