Arsenal remain in contention to snap up Manchester City fullback Joao Cancelo, according to Sport.
Barcelona are currently favourites to secure the 29-year-old’s services, but the Catalan newspaper claim that the Gunners have been “speaking” to the player since the start of the summer.
With the club looking at ways to replace the injured Jurrien Timber, Cancelo’s name has cropped up again and it appears that a move for the 44-cap Portuguese international is being considered.
Sport claim that Barca are “aware” of the interest from Arsenal, but they still feel they will win the race for the right-back’s signature, having reached an agreement on personal terms already.
Another meeting with City is scheduled for today (Wednesday 16th August) and there is confidence that a deal can be reached over a season-long loan.
City would prefer to sell Cancelo
In an ideal world, it is believed that the Premier League champions would want to offload the defender on a permanent basis, and that is why there is some concern in Spain that Arsenal’s interest could endanger their move for the player.
However, there are a couple of factors that still make a switch to the Emirates unlikely. Firstly, City are less inclined to sell to the Gunners now they have become direct rivals. Secondly, Mikel Arteta’s side don’t have the funds to buy Cancelo.
Arsenal may have to look at cheaper replacements for Timber
Financial Fairplay restrictions mean the Gunners’ hands are tied somewhat. The fact that they were forced into signing David Raya on an initial loan deal is evidence of that.
That means that, if the London club do go into the market for a new fullback, they will be seeking a cheap option. Two players have been suggested so far: Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters and Leicesters’ Timothy Castagne, with more likely to follow.