‘It’s a lie’ – Joao Cancelo opens up about Manchester City exit

Joso Cancelo Bayern Munich

Portuguese star Joao Cancelo has lifted the lid on what looked like an acrimonious exit from Manchester City during the January transfer window.

Last month, the defender’s move to Bayern Munich was swift enough to spark speculation about a possible breakdown in the relationship between Cancelo and City boss Pep Guardiola.

Cancelo seemed to fall out of favour following the Cityzens’ 2-1 derby day defeat to rivals United, and after a short spell out of Pep Guardiola’s XI, the 28-year-old completed a switch to German giants, Bayern Munich on transfer Deadline Day.

Up until the narrow loss to Manchester United, Cancelo was the City defender with the highest number of appearances in the Premier League, however he was an unused substitute in each of the Cityzens’ three fixtures after the derby.

Cancelo tackles speculation

With rumours rife about the possible reasons behind Cancelo’s departure from City, the flying wing-back spoke to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo this week to clear the air, saying:

“It’s a lie that I had a fight with Guardiola, a complete lie. I didn’t feel important to the team in recent games. I spoke to the coach and he agreed. I, the coach and club decided I had to leave, that it was the best option for me.

“I like new opportunities and have nothing against Manchester City; I took the step to reach the level I wanted to. I became the player I am and I’m very grateful to Pep and the club: they gave everything to me and my family and I’ll never forget it.”

Joao Cancelo Man City

Cancelo begins Bayern adventure

Joao Cancelo has already represented Bayern Munich four times since February 1st, making his debut in a 4-0 DFB Pokal win at Mainz before enjoying a first Bundesliga start at Wolfsburg four days later, when he lodged an assist in a 4-2 victory for Die Roten.

Another hour’s action followed in a similarly comfortable 3-0 triumph over Bochum last weekend, while Cancelo made his Champions League bow for his new employers in Bayern’s 1-0 win at PSG in the competition’s Last 16 first-leg tussle in Paris.

Cancelo started at right wing-back in that game, though he was replaced by Canadian starlet Alphonso Davies at the break.

The versatile Cancelo has joined Bayern on loan until the end of the current campaign initially, though the German title holders have an option to make the move permanent in the summer.

Cancelo lifted two Premier League titles and one Carabao Cup during his spell with City in England, while he was also part of the team that were beaten in the final of the Champions League by Chelsea in 2021.

The 41-times capped international move to the UK from Italian side Juventus in 2019 in a deal believed to be worth in the region of £27m with Danilo also moving in the opposite direction.

According to UEFA’s own rules, Cancelo will be eligible to face his parent club Man City if the Sky Blues meet Bayern Munich in the Champions League between now and June. Both sides are listed among the favourites to win the tournament outright in 2022/23.

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