Barcelona interested in Joao Cancelo and may look to propose a swap deal with Manchester City.
Whether it be transfer speculation or infighting between the president and members of his board, Barcelona sure does seem to be keeping busy amid the stoppage in play.
The Catalans have clearly identified areas in which they need to improve next season and one of those areas appears to be in the right-back. They have also singled out Joao Cancelo as a player who could meet the club’s needs.
Cancelo was signed by Manchester City this past season but has failed to impress. He was brought in to potentially replace Kyle Walker and take over that right-back spot. But the former Juventus player has struggled for playing time.
Pep Guardiola has continued to prefer Walker with the Portuguese starting here and there or being used as a substitute.
Nelson Semedo, on the other hand, has been with Barcelona for the past couple of seasons enduring a similar situation to Cancelo. Semedo was signed from Benfica as the Catalans were looking for a natural right-back.
Sergi Roberto was used as a makeshift following the departure of Dani Alves. But Semedo has also struggled to take over permanently with then-manager Ernesto Valverde preferring Roberto. Under Quique Setién, Semedo has featured more but it has not stopped him being linked with a move away.
There were talks that he could even be included in a potential deal for Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez. What is clear is that he is no longer off-the-table and Barcelona are willing to listen to offers.
Neither of them is considered a big name and on paper, should a deal materialize, it’s a bit of a lateral move for both sides. Semedo would improve City’s defense but he’d likely need a bit of time to settle in to a new league.
Cancelo would be a downgrade to Semedo. He is not as good a defender as Semedo and offensively with City has not shown the same burst and abilities as he did when he was with Juventus. It would be unwise for Barcelona to have two average to below-average defenders as their right-backs.
Barcelona also have Emerson on loan at Real Betis. He’s had a good season with them and could be a better option. The Spanish giants need to be careful and more selective of who they bring in next season especially with it being Bartomeu’s last as president and already under a lot of scrutiny.