Over the past five years, Manchester City have spent a combined £283,200,000million on defenders; a monumental amount that has been rewarded with two Premier League titles and a historic domestic treble in 2018/19.
However, manager Pep Guardiola is not content with his backline if murmurings of a move for the highly-rated Juventus right-back João Cancelo are to be believed.
Current first-choice full-back Kyle Walker was bought for a brobdingnagian £45million only two seasons ago from Tottenham Hotspur, when he became the most expensive British defender of all time, but has suffered from a significant dip in form that shows little signs of abating.
Cancelo won his first scudetto in his first season at Juve after moving from Valencia in the summer of 2018 for €40.4 million on a five-year contract. The Portuguese would be playing under a new manager for the 2019/20 season if he remained in Turin after Massimiliano Allegri opted to leave the post after five years. His successor has yet to be decided upon.
Cancelo was born in Barreiro in the Setúbal area of Portugal and rose up through the Benfica ranks before moving to Valencia on a permanent basis in 2015. He enjoyed a successful half-season on loan at Internazionale in 2018, getting his taste for the Serie A and being rewarded with a move to champions Juventus.
Now, a potential transfer to Manchester City would indicate that the Blues’ Danilo would be moved on, as well as certifying they’ll be competition for Walker’s first-choice prestige. However, the 25-year-old wouldn’t offer the versatility that Walker currently offers in his ability to drop into an alternative back three when needed as the Englishman did in the third from last game of the season in the 1-0 defeat of Burnley.
Cancelo demonstrates the excellent passing ability required by a Guardiola side, and presses down the wing with a strong crossing prowess, but enjoyed an inconsistent season of 22 starts, playing 1967 minutes of a possible 2610, occasionally rotating with Mattia De Sciglio. Cancelo still managed to register a goal and eight assists across all competitions.
If the £44million bid is accurate (The Mail), the Old Lady would stand to make close to a £10million profit on a player signed just a season ago, but would lose a talented right-back to a strong continental rival vying for the Champions League title just as earnestly.