Bayern director hails Joao Cancelo as “optimal fit” after stunning loan move

Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has praised the Bavarian giants’ latest signing, Joao Cancelo, after his shock loan move to Germany.

The Manchester City star leaves the Etihad for Munich on a temporary basis until the end of the season. But that is not the only aspect of this deal. Bayern can sign Joao Cancelo permanently in the summer, as the loan also includes a £61.5  million buy option.

Since joining City in 2019, Cancelo has progressed to become one of the top full-backs in world football. For example, he received back-to-back PFA Team of the Year honours for his consistently high standards of play.

Bayern, therefore, jumped at the opportunity to get a player whom they wanted before he joined City. Speaking on the club’s website, Salihamidzic expressed his happiness at landing the Portuguese star.

“We’re very happy that Joao Cancelo will now play for FC Bayern,” said the sporting director. “We’ve signed him on loan now and have the possibility to sign him permanently in the summer.

“Joao is a player we’ve been thinking about for a while now because we really appreciate his qualities. He’s the optimal fit in our system with his attacking style of play and dynamism. And his mentality and experience fit very well in our team. I’m convinced Joao will help us in the coming weeks and months when we want to win titles.”

This impressively quick deal is a major coup for Bayern’s hopes domestically and in Europe. However, the rapid pace of his departure from Man City had people wondering: why did Cancelo leave?

Why Joao Cancelo left Man City for Bayern

Since returning from the World Cup, Cancelo has not had a regular spot in Pep Guardiola’s starting XI. Prior to this, the Portugal international was almost never dropped.

He was an unused substitute in three of City’s last five league matches. Cancelo also came off at half-time after starting against Chelsea on 5 January. The 28-year-old’s last appearance in sky blue came during their 2-1 defeat to Man United at Old Trafford; not exactly a high point.

The Man City star was also stuck on the bench for a crucial fourth-round FA Cup win over Arsenal. And it was this match that proved Cancelo’s breaking point.

According to the Daily Mail, Cancelo was very angry after learning that he would not start against the Gunners. This was the climax of numerous weeks of the defender questioning his lack of game time, causing his rapport with Pep Guardiola to also suffer.

Despite the rocky exit, Joao Cancelo is not ready to call time on his stint in Manchester.  

Cancelo gives reasoning for loan spell

Speaking in a press conference (via Manchester Evening News), Joao Cancelo outlined his decision to join Bayern Munich.

“My decision was to do with the lack of minutes in the last couple of weeks,” said the Portugal star. “There was speculation that my relationship with Pep was not the best. But the fact is, I wanted to play more, and now I have the opportunity.”

Cancelo added that he could stay at City after his loan in Germany comes to an end.

“This contract is now a loan and at the end of the season we’re going to talk about the situation. But now it is important to focus on our goals.

“I enjoyed my time at City, and I am still under contract with the club. During that time, I always had the time to be an elite professional and the fans appreciated that. They gave me a lot of that back. So, I don’t see this as a big farewell from the club.

“I am focused on what we can do in the upcoming five months [at Bayern] – that is my priority.”

Featured image credit: Getty